07/01/2012 by Carl Reynolds
Mrs Ape reports – At the lido on my own this morning as the Ape is away working. The sun kept peeking in and out as I arrived and I was feeling hopeful that it might hang around long enough for me to swim in it. I often find the reflections in the depths below me at Tooting quite mesmerising and seem to swim better for it. I stopped to look at the thermometer and to survey the large quantities of oak leaves which topped the water in great swathes. A lifeguard was making a few half-hearted sweeps of a net, but was making precious little impact. Stopped for a quick chat with Elizabeth before getting changed and talked about some new faces (who I met later in the café – 4 individuals all doing solo channel crossings next year.) The pool seemed busier than usual, Latvia is fast approaching and there is a definite buzz of anticipation in the air.
I found it quite difficult getting in down the vertical steps (the sloping steps are currently out of action) and I reflected on the whole “getting in” process. Vince, who many moons ago used to be a lifeguard at the pool, says that many people have a “ritual” about how they get in and this rarely changes. I’ve timed myself getting in (on several occasions) and it takes about 30 seconds for me to acclimatise to the cold before I set off. I watch people like Steph, and the Ape himself, just drop in and swim; and indeed on the occasions when I do the races, I do the same. So why does it take me so long? I tend to get in quickly, rub water on my arms, splash my face, drop my shoulders under and then get my breathing steady before I set off. What a lot of faffage. Tomorrow I’m going to see if I can drop in and go.
I thought the water rather lovely today and I didn’t mind the leaves, it just added interest. I managed 8 lengths; then sat in the sauna to thaw out. Coffee and chats with Batch, Hilary, Steph and more with Elizabeth and before I knew it over 2 hours had flown by.