Monday 12th August – Avoid Monday and Blues
The whole weekend, even with distraction at home and on the farm, my mind was preoccupied with the planned swim today. And when Monday came along, I just couldn’t do what I normally do with the swim planned after 16:00. There were 101 jobs to be done on the farm and chores with the harvesting, processing and preserving fruit and vegetable that has now begun. These chores take the best part of the day and would involve going beyond the 16:00 deadline set for the pool. It ended up not committing myself to any of the chores and most of the day was basically pottering around the home organising homemade Rakia (fruit brandy) based liqueur concoctions that needed filtering and subsequently bottling. Venturing into chores that would commit a whole day was put off until tomorrow where as far as I know I planned no swim session.
If there is one thing that I want to get away from, and it is very difficult, is being rushed with things. With a lifetime of that behind me in the UK, I will not allow that to infiltrate into my lifestyle here. It is a constant battle trying to fight that though and not made easier by setting goals that only Brit would make. Unlike Bulgarians here who wouldn’t make unnecessary goals as it is seen as surplus to requirements. The swim is a fine example of this. The only person interested in doing this was me despite trying to get others to join me here. Everyone here thinks my application to this swim is a pointless venture and find it strange that I am not content with all the work that I have at the moment during the growing season. Mind you, they think I’m crazy riding my bike for no apparent reason other than the love of cycling and all the joy, fitness and health benefits associated with it, (which many here and the UK for some reason, don’t get!)
At 61 years of age now, people around me just can’t understand why I can’t just let things go and ‘enjoy’ life without trying to test myself. It must be that the concept of ‘enjoy’ understood only from ones’ perspective. Doing nothing is not enjoyable but frustrating from my view, but to others, it may well be enjoyable. How can you do nothing anyway? Impossible even when you are dead, as you are decomposing and still have to wait until you that process is complete in order to technically do nothing.
I now have the nickname of ‘Tiger’ from a few here now. I guess that’s a compliment. They see a man at a loose end who fills all his spare time with cycling, running and now swimming just for the hell of it. Added to which, taking on a farm full time, they just don’t see the logic of all the physical work on the farm supplemented with more physical work in the sports. My answer is that food and drinks taste much better after a day’s work. And it does!
So, after a good session last Friday I wanted to build on that, but I had doubts whether that could be achieved today. Why?
Every time I go to the pool on a Monday with a plan, that plan never seems to be able to be carried through. Mainly because Monday is probably the busiest day there and no free lanes. I had a gut feeling that the same would happen today.
16:10 and I’m at the pool and the first thing I noticed was an echoing din coming from the pool area which could be heard clearly as I entered the reception. This spelled out the fact that the pool was indeed full of swimmers. As I went through the process and entered the pool area my assumption was spot on. Absolutely no free lanes, each having at least three occupants. There was the far side lane with two water filters sticking out on the side which narrows the lane and with other swimmers that makes it even more awkward to pass others coming the opposite way. But this lane had at least the fewest users.
My plan was to have one length breaststroke and three freestyle building up freestyle duration and reducing recovery time with the breaststroke. This plan was a complete waste of time in view of the situation by sharing the lane.
There were two gypsies amongst others using this lane and they didn’t have any respect for others in the lane. I was hit numerous occasions on the head, midriff, and legs as they didn’t make any effort to accommodate me when passing. There wasn’t one length where I had a clear swim and from freestyle, it had to revert to a doggy style breaststroke each time these guys were to be passed.
There was no other option for at least 30 minutes as I endured a stop, start and wait for them to pass tactic with no chance of working on the freestyle technique or continuous unbroken swim. I was frustrated, quite down knowing that this may well be the same at the event with other swimmers albeit going the same way. Each time a confrontation came in it was back to panic and the freestyle stops.
I changed lanes eventually to join three other swimmers and the same situation arose. The big issue was freestyle swimming means you can’t see where you are going without raising your head to sight ahead. In a pool with a length of 17 metres and three other swimmers, it meant that sighting had to be done every few metres. With the head up the whole concept of gliding through the water with a streamlined body goes to pot as the legs dip in consequence. Also, the breathing is rushed with looking up, the whole scenario is a mess.
I gave up freestyle and carried on with breaststroke resigned to not being able to train under these circumstances. After a sense of complete frustration, I finally left the pool only after a 45-minute session as it seemed a pointless exercise.
Monday yet again brings about a plan that cannot be put into action. Maybe next week I may start Tuesday which might work as there is a sea swim planned for Sunday.
Getting back home, I was quite depressed. After all the waiting over the weekend and putting chores and other commitments off for today’s session, it turned out to be a complete failure. With 5 weeks to go, there is always going to be a stumble or two. Added to the insult was finding out that I now had a verruca on my left big toe, it was so obvious caught from the pool from other users. I always wear my rubber-based sandals in the changing rooms, shower and walking up to the pool entrance area. With this precaution taken, it is a mystery as to where the virus was picked up. The treatment is administered, and another issue with swimming pools I guess.
I will get back to the pool on Wednesday and see how that fairs.
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