Our local council-run pool in Sandown closed in January for refurbishment and was supposed to reopen this summer. However, as these things often seem to do, the refurbishment overran badly and now it is scheduled to reopen on October 15th. In the interim I've been lazy and not been swimming since February/March time when I went to a small independently-run pool in Ryde which, as it turned out, wasn't that good. More often than not, the advertised time for public swimming turned out not to be, with private hire instead and the place was infested with small children and I got tired of turning up only to find a kids' party in full swing, despite having checked beforehand and told 'no there is no private function today'!
Another council-run pool is in Newport and it's a pain to get to from here because of the traffic, but I decided that, if I am serious about getting back into surfing and needing to get fitter before my trip to Cornwall in three weeks, I'll need to start swimming again. I am already a lot fitter than before, my job involves a lot of fetching, carrying and wheeling sack trucks of heavy boxes up steep slopes onto ferries and I do press-ups, sit-ups and pop-up practice and have been doing so for the past month, with encouraging results.
My spare tyre, a result of beer, overeating and little exercise, has diminished quite a lot and I have shed more than half a stone (11lbs to be exact or 5kg for those who prefer metric) in the past three weeks. I have never been grossly fat and, being tall I can carry a bit of extra weight and get away with not looking too hideous, but being overweight is not desirable and can lead to problems. My father died of a heart attack, and this is at the back of my mind plus I fear getting diabetes. At the start of last year I had a brush with the Big C, with a tumour discovered in my liver. This turned out to be a benign, possibly fatty, lump fortunately, but it did make me think of mortality, being fitter and not wasting time when I wanted to do something. I had initially wanted to get back into surfing last year but various bits of bad luck interfered, not least a torn knee cartilage, followed a couple of months later by a broken ankle!
I went to the other council pool this afternoon and managed 20 lengths of the 25 metre pool which equates to half a kilometre - sounds better for some reason than saying 500 metres! I am not even tired so I could have done even more but didn't want to overdo it.
Totally unrelated but something I want to mention although I don't normally get involved in politics. The UK's Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said that he is trying to 'woo' women voters, with 'women-friendly' policies. Sounds good eh? Actually, no, it's doesn't because these 'policies' are all aimed at mothers. As a child-free woman, I would love the media and politicians to get it into their thick heads that woman does NOT equal mother. Yes, all mothers are women (barring a scientific 'miracle') but not all women are mothers. Single people and couples without kids seem to be marginalised anyway, as society is geared towards parents and children, and this kind of pandering bullshit from one of the worst PMs this country has ever had makes you feel more disenfranchised and alienated than ever.
Not that I'd vote for the Conservatives anyway. I loathe Labour and have no respect for the Liberal Democrats either but the Conservatives really are the Nasty Party.