The trips to the gym have continued and slowly but surely I have endeavoured to move from the cafe into a class, or from the sauna into using my swimsuit.
Today, I tackled swimming.
Historically my style of swimming is the one that cramps your neck from the effort of keeping as much of your neck, face, and hair dry. I tend to casually float from one side of the pool to the other, often with a rest in between, until boredom kicks in and i leave the pool with the mental attitude of feeling like I have done a work out and the physical feeling of having a lovely long bath.
Today, I decided to actually try to burn a calories or two. Because I was serious about being serious I even attempted to look the part and spent a good thirty minutes trying to locate my swimming goggles, last seen circa 1986.
I failed on the goggle hunt, but did manage to find BB’s pink Zoggs, which I figured would do the trick. I considered for a moment her Peppa Pig swimhat but felt my similarity to a side of bacon in my swimmers was pronounced enough without sticking a sign on my head.
Then I headed to the pool, secured my day glo pink goggles and sucked in my stomach and dived in.
Sweet bananas, it was cold.
I flung myself into the sport in the style of a young Missy Franklin, and I tore up the 18 metre pool in fury, shaming the grey haired mistresses who ambled along in the slow lane. I reached the wall and flipped and headed back to the spot where I had flopped in.
Sweet nectar, I was knackered.
I also realised that in dressing that morning I had picked up my sons’ nose instead of my own. Everytime I came up for air I felt a flood cascading down my nasal passage.
In my head I had envisioned myself as mermaid like, cutting through the water with the style and grace of a dolphin.
In reality I was more like a whale suffering from hay fever with bright pink goggles on.
It got worse.
A tanned lady joined me in my lane without my realising, sporting a smooth swimhat, and appropriate age goggles joined me in my lane and proceed to be everything I wanted to be.
Sleek and elegant, she drove through the water at breakneck speed, breathing with rhythm and barely adding any colour to her cheeks.
I chose not to see it as a reason to leave the pool but instead as a reason to go on.
So, without letting her know, I challenged her to a race.
We were off, I pounded the ripples, head firmly sunken, my lungs tearing in my chest, my heart beating with a scream.
We were neck and neck.
I turned my head to breathe and my competitor kicked on, sending a wave through my open mouth. I choked on a mix of chlorine and snot, and blinked away fury.
I strove on, ignoring the fact that I had nearly drowned.
I could see her painted toenails in my wake, and the end was almost nigh. I dived back under the blue and squeezed my eyes tight and reached for the win.
It fell away from my arm and when I next surfaced I saw my foe halfway down the pool heading in the opposite direction.
I was a loser.
Shame filled me and I raised myself out of the water with weary arms and headed to the sauna to sweat out my sadness.
Twenty minutes later, after I had heated up I watched her climb out of the pool in a way that seemed quite ungainly in comparison to her stroke.
She turned to head to the shower and I saw the reason for the extra effort needed to leave the water.
My competition was seriously pregnant. I had been crushed by someone about to give birth.
Perhaps swimming is not my sport.