Great North Swim – success!

I spent about six months trading for t, and this weekend it was finally time for the Great North Swim. My sister, myself and our partners took a trip up to the lake District this weekend to swim in lake Windermere. Again I am reminded of just how beautiful parts of the UK are, often just a train ride away from the city (if the trains run, which is another story). The event lasts all weekend but we got our swims done on Friday so have just been wandering around and relaxing since then.

The event itself felt really relaxed, there were lots of people hanging about with picnic blankets supporting friends and family, and some nice little stalls to get snacks from. I swam in the 5k event and my sister swam 2miles. The water was lovely and clear and a really nice template. The last lap was pretty hard going – I got hit quite hard by the wake of one of the ferry boats on the lake and spent a few minutes swimming but not moving. But all the training paid off and I made it in the end. My sister thinks this is my game face.

I’d not done that distance before so was pretty chuffed to squeeze all 5 Kms into just less than 2 hours. I think I can improve on that over time, and maybe have a crack at the 10k with enough training. So all in all a successful swim. And while here we’ve been treated to some wonderful views.

Taking the rail replacement bus

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This morning I went swimming with my sister for the first proper training session in preparation for swimming in the Great North Swim in June. I have signed up to swim 5k (which is just over 3 miles), which is the furthest distance I will have swam. Eventually I want to work up to swimming a 10k, which is a marathon style length for swimmers. We swam a mile, and it was pretty tough going. I think it will take 2 swim sessions a week, and an additional session in the gym a week to build my stamina between now and then. So we have work to do. I will try to keep track here I think.

On my journey there this morning, one of my trains was replaced by a rail replacement bus. I normally travel on the train, and which is a relatively direct route. The bus takes a less direct route, and as a consequence I was able to see parts of London that I do not normally see. London is a huge city that has developed and evolved over time, slowly swallowing up towns and villages as it expand outwards. This process has left a patchwork of buildings of different styles, sizes and ages, with different parts of the outer edges of the city having distinct atmospheres and styles of their own. While it took me longer than i expected to get to the pool, I was great to spend some time looking at these bits of this city that I do not always feel at home in.

It got me thinking a bit about doing things differently, or what I may try to do differently last year. Over that last year and a half I have been working on just trying to finish things, which has been helpful in getting me to a place where I feel my creative work has purpose. I have also begun to really appreciate that doing things slowly, and building things over time, is actually the better way for me. I can be comfortable with this. However some of the work has felt, if not trivial, at least a bit light, or thin. In the last few months I have begun working on some pieces that are emotionally more close to home. I’ve been avoiding finishing bits of work like this in the past, as putting it out there is a bit anxiety provoking. When you already have anxiety, adding in more sources of anxiety is a bit of thing. So this year, I will be trying, gently, to push my self a bit more in that direction. Stay tuned to see how that goes…

Is there anything you’ll be having a go at doing differently this year?