Back in the swim of things

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!




  1. Coombe Mill
    May 21, 2013 / 8:29 am

    Good for you! I will be squeezing into my wet suit this afternoon while the kids have their surf lesson. I love to be in the water and surf club makes sure I do each week.

    • Natalie Ray
      May 21, 2013 / 11:22 am

      Oh brilliant, it’s so good that you manage to get in every week! I hope I can keep it up over the summer too 🙂

  2. Marianne Hopwood
    May 21, 2013 / 8:36 pm

    This looks amazing. i tried to go ‘proper’ swimming, i.e. lanes, for the first time since the week before Ollie was born tonight, but the pool was so packed it totally freaked me out and I only managed four laps before I exited (in which time I got repeatedly whacked). I asked when it’s quiet, and apparently it’s like that all the time outside working hours, even at 7am! I miss living in Osmington Bay where I used to swim in the sea every night after work. The sea here in Hastings is really muddy and I don’t fancy swimming with no visibility. Glad you’ve found somewhere lovely to go 🙂

    • Natalie Ray
      May 21, 2013 / 9:06 pm

      Aw that’s a shame Maz 🙁 my tip would be to try a Friday evening if the pool is open. Nobody wants to spend their Friday evening swimming, last Friday I had the whole pool to myself. Worth a try. I loved being in the lake, felt really free and invigorating. If ever you’re up this way we will go 🙂

  3. Natalie Ray
    May 23, 2013 / 8:25 pm

    Hi Laura, thank you for your comment. I will do my very best to remember the Weekend Blog Hop this weekend 😉

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