I’ve always been a swimmer. I spent my youth doing squad training up until the age of 18 or so when uni life took over and the idea of spending my winter mornings in a pool from 5.30-7am no longer had any appeal. I was a pretty good swimmer, swimming competitively and training once, sometimes twice a day for years. Eventually there came a point where the desire for a normal life trumped my desire to progress as a swimmer and I rebelled against the pool. I think it was a good thing in the end – I went off to try different sports and different activities to try fill the void that hours in the pool once filled. I still felt so completely at home whenever I did jump in the pool or ocean for a casual swim but the idea of joining a squad again made my stomach turn.
Skip forward 14years and I’ve spent the last couple of years with my physio clinic supporting all the swimmers at the end of the Rotto swim. I’ve watched and treated and listened as they’ve prepared for the swim and have been privy to their euphoria when they cross that finish line and stumble exhausted, yet so proud, onto my treatment table.
I always knew that one day I would have to tick the Rotto Solo swim off my to-do list but had no interest in doing that anytime soon. Until this year. Something changed in me (perhaps having friends and clients close to me participate in the swim this year) that made me decide to take the plunge (hah). However, as always, there was a caveat with my own self. I would do the Rotto Solo swim BUT, I had to do very, very well in it. If I was going to train properly and jump back in the pool to be prepared for this swim, then I was going to go all out. I didn’t just want to finish this crossing, I wanted to place in it. As in top 3 swimmers.
Tall order? Yes. Will I make it to the end? Who knows. I flipping well hope so.
This is my diary of my year preparing for the Rotto Solo Swim. Feel free to join me for the ride (and hold me accountable for my actions and decisions). Here we go...
Life ey. The thing that happens when you’re out doing your own thing, plodding along, hitting goals then WHAMMY. It strikes...
The last few weeks before our swimming break were starting to take their toll on me. I was losing motivation, feeling so tired and even skipped my final squad session for the term to sleep in (very unlike me). I’m pretty good at listening to my body so if it was struggling and telling me to have a break, then I was going to listen to it.
Then lo and behold, out of the blue, a brand new goal presented itself to me – becoming a mother!
Pregnant! Whilst a wee bit of a surprise (I would NOT have planned it so that I was due the week after rotto swim!) we were never the less over the moon about this exciting new adventure we were about to embark on. HOWEVER, it put a huge spanner in my Rotto Solo goals. I didn’t think embarking on a long distance swim the week before I was due to pop was a smart idea. As much as a water birth appealed to me and my water-loving ways, giving birth in the middle of the ocean wasn’t quite what I had in mind.
So off the email went to tell my coach my exciting news and that unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to participate in the solo this year coming up. And no, I didn’t go so far as to fall pregnant just to get myself out of the swim (although genius really, as it was pretty much the only legitimate reason I could have to pull out of it ;)). I did still have every intention of swimming throughout my pregnancy although the first few weeks had me barely making it through my work days I felt so awful. The idea of tumble-turning made my stomach actually turn and I was constantly freezing cold – the pool was going to have to wait a few weeks.
After three months of only walking and lots of sleeping, I was chomping at the bit for some slightly more strenuous activity. I’m now back to doing some weight training x2/week at Flow Performance and have just built up the courage to find some new swimwear that fits and have a go at getting back in the pool. The warmer days and sunnier weather has definitely helped my enthusiasm regarding my water time. Luckily for me, I run mat pilates classes so even in the first few months when I was feeling awful I was at least doing one pilates class a week alongside my treating (which I consider to be quite active).
My goals in life have definitely changed but that elusive Rotto solo goal is still there sitting at the back of my mind and will have to be ticked off one of these days. And when I get to that again, I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop (so that you can hold me accountable) – and next time, I won’t fall pregnant halfway through my training! (I HOPE!)
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