As PR man for VCARS.co.uk (Used Cars, No Fuss), I thought this would be a great way to raise the profile of the VCARS Open Water Swim. I’m hoping readers of this blog feel a certain sense of duty to buy their cars through VCARS.
A very welcome side effect of the Olympics has been a growing distrust, bordering on dislike of what used to the beautiful game. When you see sportsmen and women without the posturing, the vanity and the cheating, it just feels so much closer to the reason humans pursue athletic endeavour in the first place.
I’m hoping the Olympics have ended my love affair with football, in all honesty. I doubt it, football will always be the mistress I’d increasingly like to hide away.
Perhaps, with each stroke, my swim might distance me further from football, from my childhood, from the utter mediocrity that pervades the British football industry. I can only hope.
Straddlers. That’s what they call us. The generation of people who grew up before the internet and will die after.
We’re the generation of people who thought the ZX81 bordered on witchcraft. The generation who giggled enthusiastically while, undercover, switched on the red glowing digital numbers of their fathers’ watches.
I’m just over a week away from the most worrying entry into water since the Israelites walked across the bed of the Red Sea. If I had a pound for every time I was told: “Don’t worry, wetsuits are really buoyant, you’ll be fine”, I’d have enough to ask someone whether that comma was in the right place.
Right I’ve made a decision. I’m going to abstain from alcohol until the swim. It’s the only way I’m going to get into good enough shape to do this thing. There’s just no shortcut. The reason I’ve made this personal pact?
“Come on, you can do this.” “Wow, look at her, she’s just lovely.” “You’re not getting any younger, Paul.” “Alright, stop yelling at me, it’s only a bloody spin class, not the Tour de France.” “Wow, she’s lovely too… oh give over, she’s too young for you.” “Don’t give up, this is where the fitness is earned.” “She could do with losing a bit of timber, but then so could you sunshine.” “Go on, give up, you’ve done enough.” Etc. etc.
Yesterday morning I went for my usual Thursday morning swim (two on a Thursday; one at 7am, the other at 9pm!) and as I was being driven by my swim buddy I caught up with my twitter friends. The hot debate of the morning was the quality of wetsuits – very important for open water swimming if you’re a triathlete.
I intended to run on Friday night but a bit of late work and an early appointment at the school fundraiser ‘QuizMex’ put pay to that. Quizmex combined, for me, flagons of Mexican beers, nachos, chilli, sour cream and the like. The worst possible start to a weekend trying to stay away from temptation – I’ve never been good at that.
Look. I’m not making excuses, but then it seems so easy to make them. I could have started by training regime last night but there are so many unanswered questions: I’m swimming on August 5th so surely I should hit the pool and see how 30 lengths feels? Or maybe I should just go out and run, that’s probably the quickest way to get fit, isn’t it? I could go cycling – a nice and easy 10k twice around Holme Pierrepont here in Nottingham?