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A Day at the (Swimming) Races

31 Oct

The distant jetty and starting lane numbers

Pontoon and lane ropes

We Australians are a resourceful bunch.

Take this  example.

Mention competition lap swimming, and what venue springs to mind?

Hands up if you said:  Swimming Pools.

Sure, that’s what we routinely  see on television: and, equally certain, that’s precisely where  such competitions are generally run.  I can almost see the pristine water, the perfect tiles, the impressive starting-blocks.

However, the Club where I have swum for decades has a quite different domain: a river baths in suburban Sydney.

Close to fifty metres from the jetty at the far end of the promenade floats a slightly rusty pontoon. To it, our Swimming Club attaches unsophisticated lane ropes.

Bingo! Now we have the means to conduct in reasonable decorum a series of races, in length from twenty-five to two hundred metres. I admit the shortest races are liable to be approximate distances since their finishing line is not set in stone.

However, what we lack in exactitude is more than made up in atmosphere. For my money, its beautiful tree-studded setting wins, hands down!

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Be Inspired, Baby Boomers!

22 Jan

Are you one of my generation: a baby boomer? Looking for inspiration: a sign that time need not wither thee?

I offer my experience of the last twenty four hours.

Last night, I danced for hours to the stirring strains of a great Sixties band, doing my best to keep up with those young enough to be my kids!

After a mere four and a half hours sleep, our alarm bell rang, so at just past first light I’m up and getting breakfast for Ron and my pets.

Eight a.m. sees me queuing to register for four swimming events. By eleven-thirty it’s all over, and I’ve recorded one of my fastest times ever in the one kilometre race, and a rather slick time for the hundred.

Am I proud of myself? Wouldn’t you be?

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