Sister and Brotherhood of the White Tile

Day 1 – Monday

Time to make another come back thinks surfmuppet, after a Sunday night eating a litre tub of ice cream followed by a family block of hazelnut chocolate while binge watching some crap TV series – just one more episode, then another, and another…

Not game to get back up on the weighing scales, so there’s nothing for it but set the alarm for 0450am, dust off the speedos and goggles, iron a shirt for work, get the head down and hope to fuck to get up in the morning and get back to squad.

This will be the third come back in a couple of years, the last two lasting no more than a couple of sessions and then one thing or another and all resolution falls apart at the seams and so slink away, off back to the land of couldn’t-give-a-shit.

Monday dawns light and bright over Woolloomooloo Bay on the way to the ABC Pool to where the Vladsters have returned after the annual winter hibernation at Victoria Park pool.

Hello to Coach Jai and some familiar faces amongst the gaggle of swimmers getting into goggles and swim caps, parking baggage and assorted other stuff on the stand bench seats overlooking the placid, inviting surface of the pool.

Back of the remedial class, Lane 1.

300 metres into the warm up and the triceps and lats start to shout out in protest.

Nothing for it but push through.

Drills, face of Jai through the haze of foggy goggles emphasising push forward with the shoulders, not the arms.

Fall off the pace and snatch some air waiting for the train to come back down the pool, Vlad appears, big smile and reaches down for a welcome back handshake.

“Relax! Smile! Be Happy!”

Get through the first day with 3650 metres clocked up on the Garmin. Happy with that, gliding along with some slow laps in the warm Spring sunlight, then a chat with Kylie from Lane 2.

Followed by a breakfast of bacon, eggs and coffee with Marty, fresh from his successful Manhattan Island swim.


Day 2 – Tuesday

The important thing is to get back into the habit of leaping into the pool at 6am at least four times a week. Have a business appointment at 8am so have to get out of the pool by 655am at the latest.

Less of a crowd today, which is more of a technique kind of day. Emphasis from Jai on high elbow, loose hands, early entry into the water and push from the shoulder.  Hang out with new buddy Larry from South Africa at the end of the lane waiting for the train.

Not too sore after yesterday and manage 2050 metres before having to pull the pin and head off to work.


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