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Saturday, 11 February 2012

If at first you don't succeed, do something else

I read Ali's post about the Couch to 5k recently and had a little stab of jealousy. There was a time, once, when I would jog down the canal path full of hopeful energy.

Admittedly it didn't last very long. My knees swelled up and the physio had to be seen and it was All Over For the Running. Some readers might then remember Gawain, the lovely bicycle which was my next great hope for health and fitness.

However. It turned out that cycling along a canal path is both joyfully whimsical and tediously boring, neither of which is condusive to physical challenge. Either I cycled along at a blissful snail's pace, watching the ducks and the shimmering trees, or I pedalled petulantly, with no real goal, having seen the same ducks and the same damn trees a hundred times already. Also, there is enough stuff to maintain around here without having to look after my own brakes. Gawain is in the shed, and has been for some time.

What I needed was inspiration - and I found it on a couple of dozen posters plastered all over the pool where Littlest has her swimming lessons. They led me to Swimfit, a website where you can create personal swimming programmes which build in intensity. You then log them as you complete them, rather than swimming up and down the pool idly in the manner of a lady cyclist on a canal path.

I like swimming. I'm just good enough at it to not feel like an idiot when I step into the pool, and just bad enough at it to have the motivation to improve. I've ordered a Kick Buoy. I've discovered that so few people go to the adults only evening swim at my local pool at present, it's actually possible to swim a whole length of backstroke without hitting someone in the face. (The other session I go to, where every swim costs £1, is full of teenaged girls with mascara flowing down their faces, flirting and shrieking at soggy, unpleasant-looking boys. I am beginning to wonder if I really should be encouraging the Lattes to swim.)

My husband found me logging my swim, and logging my wine consumption on the NHS alcohol units tracker, and informed me that I fit the profile of an internet 'self quantifier' - someone who constantly records information about themselves online. I have two thoughts about this: 1) that as a blogger I have no leg to stand on, and 2) that people with iPhones have relinquished their right to comment on other people's over-use of technology.

Ooh! Whilst typing this, I just remembered that Kelloggs sent me a press release to say they're offering free kids swim vouchers on promotional packs up until March. There's info here. Is this in time for half term? I hope so. 

You may have noticed a new little widget that has popped up at the side there - an advert from John Lewis. I haven't run an ad before but I couldn't turn this down - an advert for company I was happy with, which didn't blink or flash, and which would pay for my trips to the pool for a little while.

23 comments:

  1. I liked swimming until I became a pool carer at our school and learned far more than I ever wanted to know about pool disinfection. I haven't got into a jacuzzi since.
    And there's no way I'm tracking my alcohol where anyone could find it. Ooo errr.

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    1. Nope. Not listening. Fingers in my ears.

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    2. Me neither! Swimming is my only hope of ever getting any exercise and ever losing weight.Running is a no go - gravity is already taking it's toll - it doesn't need any more help!

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    3. It is so COOL to smell of chlorine, anyway...

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  2. That's me - an internet self quantifier - I have a title. I didn't know.

    But you're still not getting me in a municipal pool.

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  3. That's me - an internet self quantifier - I have a title. I didn't know.

    But you're still not getting me in a municipal pool.

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  4. Oh God I am an internet self quantifier. I've done the alcohol thing. I like swimming too must have a look at Swimfit.

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  5. Will it pay for the swimming just by being there or shall I click on it a few times? I'm happy to oblige.

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    Replies
    1. No effort is required on your part - but I do appreciate your offering. It's a bit of a worry introducing paid content for fear of what people might think - so thank you.

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    2. I'm clicking anyway just for the exercise.

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  6. I wish I liked swimming, but I don't. It's because of the shivering bits. I'm telling myself that my endless walks to and from school do the trick. Plus I cycle up an almighty steep hill once every fortnight. (I'll gloss over the fact that it is to get to a coffee with a croissant.)

    (And getting paid because you do something well - sounds like a good deal to me. Not that it's important what I or anyone else thinks about it..)

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    1. Just a croissant? Not even a pain au chocolat?

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    2. Never. I draw the line somewhere. A croissant is all. Or two.

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  7. Can't run. Am rubbish at swimming. Ditto cycling (too many hills). Therefore don't even have the energy to drink any more. So I knit! Or sew.
    But I have just taken up yoga again and am particularly enjoying the breathing!

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  8. I'm impressed that you get to advertise John Lewis - and very impressed that you are using it to subsidise your swimming habit.

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  9. I think I'd scare myself to death if I used the alcohol units checker so I won't be bothering with that. I dislike swimming pools intensely so won't be going there. I'm stuck really, whilst I'd like to exercise my body won't let me. Good luck to you in your endeavour though.

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  10. our pool is full of old ladies who stop in the middle and chat. I have given up.

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  11. I can't swim. I don't do any exercise and have been told time and again that swimming is the answer. But I can't bear the whole shave your bits/get changed into unflattering tight exposing clothing/jump into cold water and try not to drown/ come out and feel cold and irritable and stub your toe on the way back to the nasty changing rooms/try to mind your own business as the woman next to you spends ages standing naked in front of the mirror while she dries her hair/try to avoid standing on anything/feel starving from all that compressed air and exercise and come home and eat your weight in biscuits sort of thing. But I can imagine that if you get over all that, it must be quite soothing to float about the place feeling weightless. I am behind you all the way.

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  12. Best Post Ever.
    And that's official.
    I stamped it and everything.
    xx

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  13. I'm with noknittedknickers - very well put, nkk. I would swim if the pool were just through my sitting room window (but inside) and totally private and maintained by elves. Otherwise, I go for walks.

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  14. I used to run 3 times a week but now changed this for swimming and I can definitely tell the difference. Swimming burns more fat

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  15. I love swimming, I haven't been for ages though, I used to go to one of those old victorian pools with the changing rooms around the edge it was lovely. Laura and I would then eat our weight in Thai food afterwards but I am sure the swimming helped. It is just the sea for me now, bitter cold jumping through splashing waves and wiping the salt from your eyes, there really is nothing better. I am pleased John Lewis are contributing towards your swimming. - Annie

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  16. I love this post. Hilarious. A whole lap of backstroke without hitting anyone? Genius. Swimming is for cooling down on a nasty hot day, as far as I'm concerned. As a form of exercise it is too time-consuming for my lifestyle because as well as the resting at the end of the laps there's all that drying and changing and showering stuff.

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