It promised to be a quiet day. Tuesday is my scheduled day off from swimming and today I wasn’t burdened by doctor’s appointments, hospital procedures, scans, physio appointments,
client calls, or matters to attend to from the office. It looked like a good day for catching up on some exercise for my leg. I’ve been slack about this since coming back from the Jatbula as my knee has been so sore. I drove to the Virgin gym in French’s Forest. I hadn’t been there before but it’s covered by my city membership so I thought it was worth a look.
Big barn of a place, bright, floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the surrounding suburbs. Lots of Mum’s getting some fitness time after dropping kids at school. First stop was the stationary bike. Haven’t been on one for months. Pedalled away for half an hour at level 7, with a cadence of around 60 to 70 RPM, not too bad I suppose. Next was the leg flex machine. I didn’t three sets of 10 reps x 20 kg. On the leg extension I three sets of 10 reps but only 10 kg, lifting the bar with both legs and lowering it with my bad leg as Belinda has shown me to do.
Finally to the leg press. I managed five sets x 20 reps at 30 kg. I was pretty pleased with that but my leg is much weaker than it was before I left to go on the Jatbula.
In the afternoon I had I visited Manly pool for my first ever swimming squad. At 5:30 PM I presented myself to the coach, Narelle Simpson, a fixture at the pool..
“Narelle, you probably don’t remember me,” I said.
“Yes I do. Mr Kelly, Amelia’s dad” she replied, referring to my eldest daughter who had trained with her as a teenager.
“Amelia used to swim here in Elka’s time,” she said referring to Elka Graham, another Manly girl who became an Olympian.
“That’s a long time ago,” she said to her assistant.
“Yes, about 16 years ago,” I said. I had not seen Narelle since then. She has taught swimming and coached at Manly’s Boy Charlton swimming pool to generations of local kids including my own. It’s an interesting point to reach in your life when you are remembered more for your children’s athletic achievements than your own.
It was very quiet when I entered the pool. It’s still a bit cold so the big, after-work crowds aren’t here yet. That’s summer and daylight saving time. There was only one other person in the squad and the water was very still as dusk rolled in. Narelle warmed me up by doing 50s of freestyle and then some backstroke. The backstroke hurt my leg a bit. She then proceeded to give me a rundown on everything that was wrong with my swimming. It was quite a list: stroking short and not pulling right through to finish off, not enough trunk rotation, lifting my head when I breathe, and breathing too late. I did a series of drills with a pool buoy and a kickboard and I realised that at 62 it’s probably too late to attend your first swimming squad.
I also realised I do swim ugly. I’ve also really slowed down since the surgery in February. I don’t know why it is still impacting on me. I should be getting over it by now. I’m not. Never mind. I’ll keep coming to the squad until we do the Palm Beach to Manly swim which is what this training is all about.
God put me on earth to do something. It wasn’t swimming.