The laps of life

Woke this morning at 7:10 with a sense of purpose, and an eagerness to get out of bed five minutes later without nagging my partner for my usual first cup of tea. Since April 12, Wednesday mornings have meant an 8am swim at my local pool.

Under covid restrictions we have to be ‘beach ready’ for the water, so I slip my costume on under my clothes and go downstairs to pick up the morning paper from the doorstep. Often, our cat Benji comes in miaowing loudly with the paper, so I feed her and then switch on the kettle to make my partner a drink. I stare at the garden and listen to the birds.  

During lockdown I kept reading with fascination about the many benefits of wild swimming, but living in a busy urban part of London there is nothing available even remotely close to where I live.  Not even a heated open-air pool or lido.

Swimming has always been a constant in my life, the one thing I always come back to. I love the shock of the chilly water and the way my mind and body are both fully engaged with each stroke. The calmness and freshness brought for the rest of the day.   

I ‘m home by 9:30. It’s a sunny, breezy morning so I hang my swimming gear and towel in the garden to dry.  Doing so gives a ridiculous level of satisfaction. 

The cup of tea I have before breakfast tastes like nectar.   

Today, I swam 32 laps of the thirty-three metres pool in 40 minutes. I struggle with the maths, but that seems not a bad result for an almost 67 years old. 

33 laps next Wednesday?