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What I Love about Swimming

8 Oct

Margaret swimming in the river enclosure

A pretty place to swim

As an observer of life, I contend there are two categories of people: swimmers and non-swimmers.

Having read the title, you’ll know my sympathies.

As a swimming devotee for over three decades, I can vouch for its many virtues.

What better way to spend time outdoors on a sunny day than in the water? So refreshing!

As an exercise, swimming comes into its own.  Compared to, say running, swimming is gentle, and can be continued right up through senior years. It burns calories and promotes muscle tone.
To me, even more important is the relaxation: the feeling of escape from normal life. Humans are, of course, creatures of the land, and venturing into water seems to constitute a break from the humdrum of everyday activities. After swimming, people often say that they feel better. Is this just a matter of improved circulation due to exercise, or is it something more?

Those who like competition may well have the chance to join  Swimming Clubs, and this has the added advantage of social contact. Who knows what marvelous  new friendships you may make?

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Late Last Summer….

31 Aug

You’ve seen the images…..Chicki and me, late last  summer, down by the river.  Chicki was in her short summer clip, freshly trimmed up for our summer heat. The river, cool and refreshing, is home territory for a small group of wild ducks. Sometimes, a little family of ducklings swims along, behind them.

This is where I love to be. In summer I brave the water, sometimes even in the rain. In winter, it’s a wonderful place, just to relax and stroll around in. It’s hard to believe that Sydney is not so far away.

The Baths are Back: But…

5 May

I’ve lost count of how many weeks our local baths was out of action. Ten, maybe more.  So long that swimming there becomes a joy of the past.

So today, when I first see the ‘Baths Closed Due To Health Hazard’  signage finally removed, I look at it with mixed emotions. Sure, I’m tempted to give it a go, but at the same time, the alarm bells still ring in my head. What is so disgusting for such a long time may well have left its taint somewhere; some undiscovered, perhaps well-hidden source.

In other words, I don’t fancy it;  not yet, anyway.

But come next Spring, when the cycle begins again, and deep water and sunshine beckon anew, I’ll bet the call of the tide will once again be strong in my mind, and I’ll venture in again!

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What’s Happened to Our Baths?

19 Apr

Just this morning, I took a stroll to my local swimming baths: the place I’ve chalked up about six thousand kilometres of freestyle in the past thirty years.

I can’t claim surprise at what I found; after all, yesterday’s rain pelted down hard on our rooftop, and we’re less than two kilometres away.

It was, in a word, disgusting. Sad to say, I’ve seen it even worse, but….

Instead of that strangely indescribable colour of clean river water, I saw dense, brownish stuff, splattered with debris.

The ‘Baths Closed Due to Health Risk’ sign was still in force, and to my knowledge, this is for a record period. Our Club last raced here in late February: every subsequent meeting had to be cancelled. What a disaster for our morale!

When will it ever return to normal? Will we swimmers ever think of it in the same way as B. F.: Before Flood?

Yes, it all went awry following the torrential rains that saw dams overflow! To think, it’s just a few years back that water restrictions were in force, and a desalination plant was constructed!

Clearly, things haven’t changed too much  from the days of poet Dorothea Mackellar, who wrote of ‘droughts and flooding rains’ in our country, Australia.

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Roll on, Summer!

23 Aug

What a long winter we’ve had! My last swim in the ocean is but a distant memory!

Mind you, this ‘last swim’ took place during the last week of autumn; not optimal swimming conditions, I can assure you! By then, the water temperature was pretty low, about 14.5degrees Celsius, which may seem steamy to true  ‘icebergs’, but not to this very slim, middle-aged woman!

It didn’t last long: only a few minutes: but nevertheless, it counted as a dip in the briny! Oh, how glorious the warmth of the sun seemed, afterwards, as I struggled to thaw out.

What I’m truly looking for is a beautiful warm, but not too warm, day; the sun shining, the water sparkling, the waves caressing. And then, I’m going to swim for ever! Well, until I run out of energy, in a bit over half an hour. Then I’ll emerge, refreshed, full of vitality, and alive!

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