I certainly haven't missed the early morning starts as the weather has been depressingly cold and wet, but by yesterday I felt ready for a gentle afternoon reintroduction to the water. I wasn't as out of practice as I'd feared. My goal was 40 lengths which felt manageable, so I did another 10, then reasoned it would be a pity not to do another 14, to make a neat and tidy mile. Easy peasy! I find that swimming in blocks of 10x25m breaks the task into bite-sized chunks and also seems to free my mind up to muse about other things. I've been thinking about channel swimmers and how they occupy their minds during their marathon swims - real psychological stamina!
While on shore leave I've been reading The Great Swim by Gavin Mortimer. It's about the early twentieth century race to be the first woman to swim the Channel. It's amazing to read what those gals achieved in the days before sophisticated weather forecasts, purpose-built swimwear and goggles etc etc. And all the while risking social disapproval by cutting their hair short and revealing their knees in outrageous woollen bathing costumes! What fantastic, determined young women! Here's Gertrude Ederle (first woman to swim Channel - August 6, 1926 - 14 hours 30 minutes):