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28/09/2012 by Carl Reynolds

I’ve not been swimming or written about swimming for a while. Partly too much work, but also feeling reluctant. It’s an obsession and although I love my obsession, I can still see it shifting all other parts of my life to secondary status. Mrs Ape, bless her, is also obsessed by swimming – and making cakes – so I am fortunate in having my best friend, lover and life partner with me whilst indulging. And not sat at home a swimming widow.

But work. Necessary, but gets in the way of swimming. Mostly fascinating, but gets in the way of swimming. Pays well enough, but gets in the way of swimming. Or perhaps, swimming getting in the way of life. You may be surprised to hear the aquatic ape talk like this, but I am a little mercurial. So today was a blessing. I enjoyed swimming in 12 degree C water. It felt fresh. I didn’t shiver afterwards and was able to string together sentences coherently.

However, it took me an hour to get to the pool. Admittedly an hour listening to songs which I’d like to learn to sing and a healthy drop of Radio 4’s Today programme, but an hour nonetheless. Tooting Bec Lido is not a short cycle away. It’s an investment in time. I sometimes resent it and did on the way today. Now I feel enriched. By the sheer delightfulness of swimming in cool water, but also by the assortment of characters plunging in, like Fred, who’s just done his first 10K swim and Gail who commented on how the men like to pluck their heart strings. So, as one sensitive soul said to another, ‘get on with it and enjoy the swimming’. I’m back and the work takes a back seat.

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