After a tumultuous week I didn’t feel like going down to Balmoral for the Saturday swim, and got up late. I haven’t been down there for a month. They will clean out my locker if I’m not careful. It was a warm, sunny morning outside. The rain seems to be gone. The ocean looked too good to ignore. I grabbed my flippers and snorkel and wandered down to Manly, to my old haunt, the small Manly Surf club tucked under the hotel, next to Manly Wine bar. My gear was hanging on its peg, untouched, where I left it, a month ago. As I walked over to the beach after changing, I noticed Rob Boylan, rinsing off under one of the external showers. We exchanged pleasantries and he offered to join me on the swim. He had already had two swims that morning but said he would walk to Shelly and swim back with me. I readily agreed
The ocean is deceiving, especially when you haven’t been in it for four weeks and you aren’t feeling 100% anyway. I put my flippers on at the water’s edge, pulled the snorkel down, waited for a break and took off. I was going fabulously for the first 50m then looked up and saw three “frothy tops” i.e. breaking waves heading my way. In a mad panic, I got over the first one but didn’t make it over the second. I discovered what it’s like to have a wave break down the narrow confines of a snorkel. It’s like having a salt water enema, only through your mouth. First stop is the stomach. It’s immediately full of water, with the overflow in your lungs. I came up spluttering, with one wave still top go. Kicking madly and going as fast as my sore neck would allow, I made it over the third wave and paused to catch my breath and empty my lungs of unwanted saltwater. This wasn’t a great start for my return to the ocean.
Nevertheless, the rest of the swim was uneventful, although with a snorkel and your head down, it’s hard to swim in a straight line. Rob was waiting at Shelly when I arrived and we swam back along the coastline, which I call the “Tour des Weeds.” We had trouble pulling into Manly around the point as there was a strong nor’easter blowing and the rip was on fire.
We made it through the breakers, although it’s hard to look behind you with a snorkel. Never mind. I had a long leisurely shower just letting the hot water run down on my sore neck. It’s very soothing. On the walk home, I jammed the headphones on as usual but did something I haven’t done for many years – I listened to the Bee Gees. I love their early music. When I was in high school, with a primitive crystal set hooked an external metal downpipe, I was mesmerised by the original, Australian mega-band. Songs such as Spicks and Specks, Massachusetts, To love somebody, Words and I gotta get a message to you, were songs that kept me company all through those last years in boarding school. The Bee Gees were an Australian version of the Beach Boys for me. Time moved on. Ten years later I was working in a restaurant in the small principality of Andorra between France and Spain. One afternoon I came in after skiing and heard a noise that sounded like a bush turkey being castrated with a pair of fencing pliers. It was the Bee Gees singing Night Fever in falsetto. I thought it was diabolical then and I still do. It hardly even qualifies as music. Stayin’ Alive was an equal bag of crap that plagued me all through that season in the snow. The restaurant patrons in Andorra wanted it played all the time. It scarred me psychologically and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered. Anyway, it was nice to revisit the early songs on a walk back from Manly on a sunny, Saturday morning after a swim with a friend, with not too much pain in my arm.
After a leisurely breakfast it was the now familiar Saturday afternoon ritual of the Virgin gym at French’s Forest. It was another lazy one. Once more I got to 100 rpm, five times on level 10 on the stationary bike. This time, however I also reached 100 rpm five times on level 11. My heart rate got up 133 bpm. I was pretty pleased with that.
The rest was pretty lacklustre
Adductor……………………20 x 40kgs x 2
Leg Extension……………….15 reps x 30kg x 2 both legs
Leg Curl …………………..15 reps x 30kg both legs
Leg Press………………….10 reps x 60kg x 2 both legs warm up
Leg Press………………….10 reps x 70kg x 2 both legs
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a very lazy afternoon in the gym. I’m a bit disappointed that I’m not game to try and leg press 80 kg yet. I’m frightened of injury is the simple answer. I’ll ask Belinda what I should do.