Saturday, 14 May 2011

Getting in the Zone

Where did all the hot weather go? The blazing sun that should have been warming up the water in Salford Docks this week? 
Tomorrow is the Great Swim and we're in the last wave at 3.20. The cameras will be rolling, and broadcasting live on BBC 2. Ulp! No pressure then.....
This is my cap - you'll be able to spot me bringing up the rear and staggering over the finish line. 
I swam 3/4 mile yesterday, and a mile on Thursday in 45 minutes - a great time for me. I'd be very impressed if I managed a time like that tomorrow. 
Here's the all-important chip that'll keep track of me

and here's that great poem from Sharon Olds, that seems to sum it all up

The Swimming Race

Noon, Orinda Park Pool, three girls
in rubber caps sculpted with rubber
roses, and they had put our fathers
at the far end of our lanes. We curled
our toes over the edge, the gun went off -
they dove cleanly, as I jumped. By the time 
I had surfaced, and started to dog-paddle, they had
finished the race, their fathers had drawn them up
dripping and were handing them sateen ribbons with
rosettes, a red and a cobalt blue,
I held up my head as he'd taught me, and swam
like a dog toward his end of the pool. The day
was temperate and cloudless, live-oaks
in a large cluster full of yellow-jackets to my left,
the lawn to my right, and there before me, 
at the end of my lane - black lines
on the bottom of the pool, where the drowned would lie -
was my father. I paddled, I felt myself approach him,
I was grinning because of the prize I would win
for coming in third, a Big Hunk bar -
the milk and honey on the other side -
and because my father was getting bigger,
leaning toward me, his arms open.
He pulled me out, and held my hand
up by the wrist. My sister sneered, she said
Why did you lift Shary's fist
when she was last? and he smiled, a smile almost
without meanness, one of the last
times we saw him smile, he said
I thought she was winner of the next race, and his
face flushed with pleasure and the shade of the yardarm.

Sharon Olds
from The Wellspring, 1995

Oh bring on that yardarm!!


  1. Oh, Oh good luck, hope the water is warm.
    much love

  2. Great good luck! We'll be watching.

  3. thanks Martine, Titus! Watch this space.......