Arrived at Balmoral for the Saturday swim at 6.30am to find the water temperature touching 14ºC – the low for the winter to date. This is where the boys and the men get separated. Or the folk in the wetsuits from those without. Water this cold fries my face and usually chills my organs, especially my heart. It goes right through me. Recognising this, Terry took pity on us and set a course of only 750m – once around the bay. It was bad, but not as bad as in previous years. I have something in my stomach now – two WeetBix and the difference is amazing. I was cool without being achingly cold as I’ve been in other years. What a belated discovery. Could have gone for a longer swim when I got out. Felt a bit underdone. Not as fast as I was before I hurt myself and I doubt I have the same stamina in the water I had back then, but I’m plugging on.
Everyone talking about the snow at the club this morning and planning their trips down there. Some have already been down. Marg Carney sent me a picture of Thredbo this morning. I would love to go. First winter in about 40 years I haven’t had a ski.
Rainy afternoon. Decided to go for a stroll out to Fairy Bower. Big swell booming in, and offshore wind. Started to rain at Shelly Beach. Strolling along with the rain drumming on my hat listening to the Dead Ringer Band and Nanci Griffiths. Realised on the way back that something was different – my tendon wasn’t hurting. I walked on to check. No. It wasn’t hurting. This was the first time I’ve been able to walk to Shelly without a sore Achilles tendon since I broke my leg in January. It’s an amazing feeling to be completely pain free. It still aches when I put the pack on but it’s fine now just walking. Training with that pack seems to have helped the tendon to heal. That’s counter intuitive – I thought heavy bushwalking would aggravate it. It seems to have helped it to heal. Aiming to do the Jatbula track may prove to be one of the smartest things I’ve done in this rehab programme.