My lesson in practice and patience

These glorious trunks keep appearing for sale in an ad on my Facebook feed.  I need them.  I don’t want them, I NEED them (yup, I’m one of ‘those’ shoppers!).

I felt far from being Wonder Woman a few weeks ago though, when I sat overlooking North Dock, too intimidated to get in because I was big-time doubting myself.

I’ve started open water swimming and North Dock is the nearest outside space to swim, besides the harbour. I’ve been swimming on and off since last autumn, but have moved to open water after accidentally signing up to the Great Scottish Swim. I say accidentally because gin was involved in the decision making process, as well as the infectious enthusiasm of my new CommsUnplugged friends (You can read about them here).

The swim is in August and it’s not a great distance, but it’s a big deal to me. We’ve booked our family summer holiday around getting to Loch Lomond – a thousand mile round trip in our campervan! It’s also a big tick on my #Before40 list.

I’ve done a countdown and we now have 72 sleeps to go!

I’ve been pretty slack again this week, tying myself up in knots about not being fit enough to do as much as I need to do, but failing to be productive enough to get myself out there to practice. It’s a vicious mental cycle I get into with lots of things – wanting to be good at something but getting frustrated if I’m not good enough straight away.  I rarely quit stuff, but often go through the mental agony of flying by the seat of my pants because practice seems so tedious and time, so little.

There are three of us doing the swim together – me down here in sunny Wales and, Anna and Jo all the way up there in beautiful Scotland. We’ve got a WhatsApp group going on and when I told them about my total bail out watching others get in and swim, but feeling too intimidated myself to do it alone, they really spurred me on.

Apparently old lady breaststroke is 100% ok! It’s not a race and, we’re in it for the enjoyment! Finding new people to cheer me on with my need to keep busy and have goals, no matter how bonkers my aims feel to me, is fantastic.

I’ve decided that swimming, especially open water swimming is going to be my lesson in patience. This year I will crack the mental barrier I have of ‘to do anything well, that doesn’t come naturally, takes a significant amount of commitment, time and no doubt (in my case), frustrated tears!’

I’ll update this post with how I’m getting on, but I’ll be disappointed if I’m not a slightly wider Rebecca Adlington by, errr, a fortnight Tuesday!

Just in case my promise to myself isn’t enough… after all, I do only have 72 sleeps to go, I’ve also set up a JustGiving page.  I’ve done this because I’m hopeful that the pressure others put on me by donating so generously to my chosen cause (Parkinson’s UK), will be enough to see me hurl myself into Loch Lomond and paddle for my life!

If you fancy adding to my ‘load’, I’d be ever so grateful if you clicked on this lovely shiny link and donated.


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