I have been swimming every day for the past week. After our big swim adventure I kind of fell out of the habit of swimming. Every day I was too busy, it was too cold, or I didn’t feel well. But this is ridiculous, I live just a couple of miles from the sea, it is August, and I am on holiday or working from home – this is prime swimming time.
So on Friday I made a commitment to myself to start swimming every day whatever happens …..
The past week has included some fabulous swims. I have realised I have mutated into the crazy old woman who swims alone in the sea with her faithful dog keeping pace on the shore; the woman who squatting on the shingle, haphazardly wraps her slightly mutilated, but rather expertly reconstructed body in discoloured towels while conducting a continuous monologue with a dog who isn’t really listening, but is trying to be polite. And you know what? I am totally happy about that.
Friday: I swam at Shingle Street with some friends – Kainaat couldn’t believe it when he got to the beach and all his campsite friends were there – thank you Evan, Lucy, Ellie, Victor and everyone else for playing with him and for the swim – you got me back in the water and for that (and much more) I am grateful.
Saturday and Sunday: I swam in the lagoon with Kainaat – it was blue-brown with a hint of green and perfect.
Monday: Again in the lagoon but I hung out with a family from the campsite and realised that my swimming was a form of mindfulness – thank you for our conversation.
Tuesday: swam early morning at Shingle Street with my lovely heroic swimming friend Alfie. The air had an autumnal feel and the sea was perfectly still. There was no-one else on the beach – it was wonderful.
Wednesday: it rained all day, but I still swam. As chance would have it I stopped at exactly the same place on the beach that I sat with Alfie the day before – right next to our cairn of stones.
As I got in the water there was a brief break in the weather before it started to rain again. The sea and the sky were battleship grey, but again there were hardly any waves. I felt I was swimming in a painting by my friend John. I was alone on the beach, with only my dog for company.
Thursday: a brighter day, the tide was low and when I swam all I could see was the high shingle bank rising on the land side and the blueish brown of the sea. Kainaat, as usual, kept watch. I couldn’t remember where I had left my clothes.