Dear Pool2lake swimmer
The season started rather slowly with Covid causing a few issues but for many swimmers the open water has been a huge blessing and a small bit of peace with what was happening around us. A positive from Covid is pool swimmers transitioned to the glorious lakes, rivers and seas this season where they may have stayed swimming in the pools and not explored. I worked hard convincing certain pool swimmers that open water swimming is the only way to go. The consistent badgering paid off and they are regular swimmers at both Denham and Boxend.
Seeing how some swimmers arrive at the lakes or rivers frustrated, sad or stressed and leave with the most amazing glow on their faces. I am the lucky one to see the transformation, which is so quick, it’s like a light switch as to how quickly the water can calm things and reset everything again. The open water definitely allowed our brains to stop thinking.
Partners have been convinced to come over to the happy side of swimming in the open water. Holidays have been planned around swim locations. You have to love anyone who plans a holiday on where they can swim. Parents have joined their children on the new adventure and mum has come to watch and with pride and love as she stands and encourages from the deck.
The children having swimming lessons in the lake has hopefully created a memory for life, that one day they too will be able to share their love of the water. The cuteness of the little ones all kitted out in wetsuits, cap, goggles and tow floats, not forgetting the cautious smile to start with and then ‘boom’ shrieks of laughter jumping off the deck. New friendships were formed when school was not happening. Children could be children again. I got to have my daughter Kara, help me in the water, which was special and the bacon rolls afterwards always taste the best after swimming.
Tween swimming was all about pretending we were on a secret military mission, where we had been dropped from helicopters to do a rescue. Next it was swimming with the navy seals and then we all morphed into Aquaman. The main focus was fun and being totally comfortable in the water. Hard swimming allows, lots of play. No matter what age you are doing a crazy jump or bomb into the water makes you feel naughty.
Watching the teens swim at lightning fast speed warmed my heart. One minute they at the bottom of the lake and next you look they are on the other side. 1 km for them is a doddle. They were like rockets. Banter between mother and son in the swim fit classes always added some healthy family competition. The lovely mums that navigated the M25 often to get their children early to Denham lake deserve a medal.
Families not being able to travel to their favourite holiday destinations started open water swimming together. Being part of their family unit for a short while was a pleasure. The encouragement from the children while their mum learnt how to put her face in the water and start mastering front crawl, made my heart bubble over.
There have been one or two tears in the middle of the lake but every single one of those swimmers are now off and with amazing swim goals to achieve.
Open water is my passion and I just love sharing the joys of the lake with new swimmers. Some swimmers, so nervous, I have had to hold their hand around the lake, but they are there in the water fighting all their fears. The encouragement, coaxing and believing in each other with people who you have only just met, meant friendships were formed.
The fun swimmers who made me laugh from the bottom of my stomach so much every time I saw you.
Thank you to Robin, Steve and Jess who work at Denham for always being so wonderful to us. Julia, your bacon rolls are the best.
There is no doubt open water challenges you mentally and physically but every single Pool2lake swimmer deserves a medal for being the most amazing open water swimmers.