Chilly morning. The clock on the surf club wall read only 4°C at 6.15. As I walked into our small surf club at Manly, one of the fellows said the water temperature had dropped a lot, probably down to about 16°c. I thought, “That’s cheerful”. We got away at 6.50am with the usual gang, Rob Johnson, Barry Feyder, Marg Carney, Denise Elder, Ron Wilson, Rosslyn Skinner and David Ingham. Surf perfectly calm and water translucent. The ocean very still. How long can this last? I didn’t think the water was too bad and we made a cracking pace across to Shelly Beach. It was frigid in there as the water is always in the shade. I asked Barry if he would like to head for the pipe opposite the Corso rather than going back directly to Manly Surf Club. He agreed. I headed off and was soon lost somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and ended up a long way wide of Manly point. I was swimming in towards the pipe and picked up Barry. He it must’ve been somewhere inside. We then proceeded to the pipe before turning and sprinting back to the southern end of the beach. It was a big triangular course which I’d estimate at 2kms. It was a brilliant morning but so cold that as I kicked along and my legs came out of the water, the soles of my feet started to get chilly in the frigid air. Such are the joys of winter swimming.
Wednesday is gym day and I’m always curious what new torture Belinda has in store for me. She introduced three new exercises. The first was to dispense with stepping up onto the small platform. Instead, she made me step up, with my bad leg, onto a big box, about 30 cm high. I found this really tough. We did three sets of 10 but I had to use her shoulder for support. We then did some sideways lunging but instead of holding a weight under my chin she made me reach across with the opposite hand and touch my toes while keeping the soles of both feet flat on the floor. Serious stretch for the inside of the calf muscles that one. Finally she heard me running in the gym for the first time, only it was backwards. Backwards across the gym. Turn around, run backwards again, staying on my toes.She said this is not so hard on your knees. Anyway it wasn’t a bad session. Protein balls afterwards.