Yesterday I was over in the Lake District taking part of in the Epic Events Coniston swim. I chose the 3.8km distance which my furthest Open Water swim to date.
I had the usual pre-race anxiety. Not the greatest night sleep beforehand, catastrophising and creating loads of different scenarios in my head – none of which actually happened – of course – because most of the time they don’t. Not even close
There wasn’t – or didn’t seem to be as many people as I had anticipated. Most of the swimmers were super polite and as we set off (in the incredibly shallow waters at the start) – everyone seemed more concerned with creating their own space – nothing like the usual “fight” that occurs at the start of a triathlon.
In the weeks preceeding the event I had started to worry about water temperature – given the size of the Lake, it would normally be a lot cooler in comparison to the the Lake I train in. However, The Universe had smiled down with plenty of sunshine the week leading up to the event, so it was a lot warmer than anticipated – around 22 ° C! No cold water shock, no acclimatisation required, and it was almost too hot for wetsuits. And on top of that, the water was flat calm.
I felt I might have set off a bit fast (mostly to get some clearance from bodies), but settled into a nice rhythm and just hoped I could hold that pace the whole way round, which I pretty much managed. Once I got going, I felt mostly like I was swimming on my own. I’d pass the odd person, or the odd person would pass me, but I had loads of space and thoroughly enjoyed it. Gliding through the water, feeling the freshness as we hit colder patches, getting lost in the rhythm and your own thoughts. …I enjoyed it that much that I’m contemplating a couple of longer ones next year – maybe a 5km swim next time!
We went to Ambleside for lunch afterwards. Parked up and went to pay. The pay machines are now on these raised platforms with steps to get up to them. The guy in front was having some issue getting the machine to take his coins, they just kept falling through. He tried wiping them and putting them in, then his wife started trying some of hers and it was still not playing ball, and all this time the queue was getting longer (as it seemed to be the only machine in the car park). Eventually it started to accept 1, then 2 and then ‘finally’ he had managed to put enough in to purchase a ticket. Then came my turn. I joked with the guy behind – “no pressure, massive queue and you’re up on a stage” he chuckled. So I went to put my coins in the machine… It accepted every single one of them first time, no problem. Grabbed my ticket and as I came down the steps he asked, “are you this charmed in all other aspects of your life too?”
My response with a big grin; “do you know what, I think I am.”
Sometimes I do think I am charmed, but then I also think that if you appreciate the little things, find gratitude and the small joys, then you will find that kind of charm in your life. It kind of works it’s way in.