… and say yes. And I did.
Training the YES muscle
A week ago my friend Jonathan asked me to join a duathlon at Hampstead Heath. It touched my sweet-spot as I was thinking of an aquathlon just for the fun of it. I wanted to see what it feels like and whether it touched my ‘inspired for more button‘. At first I said YES & then my endurance ego kicked in: who would get out of bed for 1km swim & a 5km run !!
It sounded like a joke and I couldn’t help myself and was thinking about fellow adventure nutter Tobias who is embarking on ÖTILLÖ - The swimrun world championship: a total distance of 75Km. So I decided to still keep thinking whether to go or not and wanted to find a swim myself – outside of London in the countryside & get the dust off my Xterra wetsuit. Saturday evening I was still sitting at my computer, didn’t see anything that took my fancy plus the important thing that I was after was company vs. a solo swim: being in good company when sharing a hot cup of tea / coffee. I thought ‘that is ridiculous that I am so resisting what had just been offered’ so I made a deal with myself, go for the ‘Pondathlon‘ & then get on the train and head out for more. It doesn’t need to be one or the other and Tobias words from our latest interview resonated in my ears ‘It’s about doing it’ – off I went.
Listen Nadine & so I left my goggles after swim 1
And I am so glad I did – my endurance ego got kicked as I jumped into the water with the first wave. My heart started to jump up to my lungs and I could feel my energy leaving the strengths in arms, my mind was shattering out loud, my stomach rumoured and the minced meat & coffee mixed together didn’t seem to go well together. I kept going – 3 lengths in the pool, jumping out and putting on my shoes (turned out I took one left and right shoe of a different model from my Vivobarefoot shoes - the good thing with these guys is that it doesn’t matter as it is just a puncture resistant sole with nothing more), I left my goggles after Swim 1 because I thought there was just one. I didn’t listen because I thought ‘What can go wrong on such a short distance’ – well it showed, it can !! So out of the pool, shoes on and I warmed up my legs running up the heath in my bathing suit and swim cap on top. A funny picture & I felt naked. Near to naked bumps where jumping up and down in front of me, entering the woods finding the way to next pond to jump in. I am sure the Sunday-Brunch walkers with their dogs & kiddy prams enjoyed the view, at least the men
3 lengths in the pool, running up to the man’s pond (and I THOUGHT there was only one swim to be managed, hence left my goggles) – one round – running to the female pond – one round & then I think it was the mixed pond – another round and running back to the running track near the lido. It was such a bliss swimming in the ponds (even without goggles) and I could not have imagined how knackered I was that I had to switch from freestyle to breast-stroke a couple of times during my swims. Tobias I will be thinking of you and Zayne !!!
Lesson learned: be open to what comes your way, it may kick your ass and shows you a weakness. There are mini-adventures & you don’t always have to organise it yourself, it can be nice for a change AND you never know who you meet.
Surprise: I came second for the females (not officially as we missed the registration) – there seems to be a common thread in my official races
The best of the whole experience as mentioned before: You never know who you will meet & what comes out of it. It reminds me that the best projects evolve naturally vs. with your head pushing through the wall.
I met Dylan, a friend of John who just flooded me with amazing contacts, informations and inspirations for future epic endurance swims. Thank you Dylan. You see – saying YES is better than steaming your brain to do a solo-trip sometimes.
I agree with Dave – Say YES more !!
Parliament Lido (vs. Tooting Bec Lido)
It was the first time I have visited Parliament Lido and I was curious – it seemed to be the outdoor-pool competitor to my well loved Tooting Bec Lido the home of the South London Swimming Club. They are absolutely two different ships -
Tooting Bec Lido (opened 1906) : great vast water basin stretching itself to an impressive length of 90.44m (the largest swimming pool in the UK & the second largest in Europe – wow). From an endurance swimmer perspective I prefer Tooting Bec as it is farely deep on both ends and gives you the open water experience (nothing really reminds me of a pool when swimming in the middle as I cannot see the edges of the basin – plus you have the leaves from the surrounding trees falling in, gives it the natural touch)
- Ambiente: Tooting Bec feels like a secret garden in the middle of the woods & the cafe adds to it’s character. Love the showers with the glass bulk eye in the roof top and the winding corridor, wooden benches that just away the pool-flair. .
Parliament Lido (first opened 1938): it reminds me more of a pool without the heating. The shallow end is really shallow, so as a swimmer it would irritate me – I like the depths. The water is really crystal clear, no smell / taste of chlorine – amazingly fresh looking (reminds me of some German pools) which makes it a pleasurable to swim inside. Clean metal bottom that gives you the feel of being in a competitive pool (Oh yes it also has a springboard.
- Ambiente: Inviting, to be honest, from just spending one day I can see it feels inviting, I would love to meet the crowd who are always the cherry on the cake (like SLSC).