At the end of May this year I was told that I was pre-diabetic and that I needed to exercise more and be more discerning over what I eat. That weekend I went for a swim and enjoyed doing lengths of the pool and so since then, I have swum for 30-40 minutes at 7am at least twice a week, every week. Sadly I have not lost any weight doing this but I certainly feel fitter, as it has got easier to do, and I enjoy starting the day in this way. There are not many of us in the pool when the leisure centre opens and I arrive in my swimming costume under my clothes , so that I can get into the pool as fast as possible. I have found that I have had lots of good ideas while swimming, as I plan my day, play over conversations that I need to have in my head, resolve problems that have been bothering me and just have some blinding ideas – like going away for the weekend with my mother and sister or Christmas present inspiration. So swimming has been good for both my physical and mental health and it feels like some precious ‘me time’.
Our leisure centre however is going to close at the end of the year for building work, for a full year, and so I will miss it. I am not sure that I am committted enough to drive the 25 minutes to our next nearest pool to swim at 6.30am, but we shall see. Our leisure centre was due to close in the autumn so we have already had some bonus months that I did not expect and I am still hoping that it will be delayed again.
Up until this year, I have rarely used our local pool. Joshua had swimming lessons there when he was younger and enjoyed it. He used to pretty much do his own thing but his teacher did get him afloat and moving, even though he had his own way of swimming, not a recognised stroke. I can remember my Mum coming to watch him once and he was in the deep end , bobbing about like a tadpole, and he almost sank when he stopped to wave at his Granny. We had a routine there: always using the same family changing cubicle and after his lesson, he was always rewarded with a bag of Quavers from the vending machine, which he ate very slowly in the cafe overlooking the pool. Now that he swims regularly at school in the hydrotherapy pool, I have hardly taken him to our leisure centre as he does not appreciate the colder water and as he does not move about very much, he soon feels the cold. I will take him back when the building re-opens in another year. In the meantime I need to find somewhere else to resume my swimming through the winter, as I am not mad enough to take to the sea through the winter, as someone helpfully suggested.