A few years ago, I competed in a few triathlons and took part in a few quite long open water swims including a 10km river swim and a 3 mile sea swim. My last open water swim was two years ago, just a 1500 metres in the river at the start of a triathlon. I have been meaning to get back into the water for the last few weeks, but I kept putting it off for one reason or another. This morning though, a friend of mine sent me a text to say that she was going for a swim in the lake this evening.
I basically struggled to think of an excuse why we couldn’t go, so at 6 pm this evening I found myself preparing to get into the lake. Before getting anywhere near the lake, I had to squeeze myself into my wetsuit. Not only is it two years since I last put the wetsuit on, I’ve also had a baby in between. None the less, I managed to squeeze myself into it.
Once I had got over the initial shock of the cold water, I started to enjoy it as I knew I would. This time, it was a really different experience. My husband and I both went swimming, so he went in first along with my friend whilst I stayed with Libby. By the time my husband had finished his swim and I’d got changed, my friend stayed in for a couple more laps with me and after that, I had the whole lake to myself.
We haven’t swam in this lake before. It’s open every day with brilliant changing facilities and, it seems, nobody else uses it. I have never experienced open water swimming without people around me before. I have always gone to organised sessions or events. The feeling of swimming along alone in a lake with nobody in sight was really quite invigorating. Despite my initial reservations, I had a great swim and I’m determined to go again soon.
Libby also had a brilliant time. She paddled in the edge of the lake a couple of times and got closer than she’s ever been before to a duck! Here she is making friends… well, taking a break from making friends to try to pinch my phone!