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As you will remember, I am currently training for a number of fundraising events to raise money for some of the clients that we work for. In a week and a half it’s zip wire and triathlon time closely followed by the Manchester 10k.

It was all going so swimmingly. Well, actually, that was the farthest thing that it really was. I have still been struggling with the swimming (what with the errant bathing costumes and swallowing half of the pool) but after some very patient coaching from Yoda and a full blown tantrum from me in the Leisure Centre Pool in Kendal. I finally got to grips with the damn thing.

The tantrum was a thing to behold. Easter Saturday with about 40 people in the pool, I decided that I should put into practice my theory that I had worked out for breathing during my front crawl swimming technique. I had practiced it in my head; I had mimed the movements of extending arms and working out head placement as if I was in the water; I had even perfected when to breathe in and when to breathe out and didn’t look anything like an idiot at all (honestly). Three strokes in at the pool I realised that you can theorise all you want but it’s worth nowt if the practical application means you drop to the bottom of the pool like a stone. Let’s not underplay this; I carry a fair bit of weight which helps me be quite buoyant. On that day in Kendal I could have had the BMI of Kate Moss given the speed with which I started heading south. Anyway I picked myself up, quite literally, and started again. Nope, not going to happen. I switched to breast stroke and within a length and a half my arms felt like they were burning.

It’s fair to say that I have avoided the swimming because I dislike it intensely. The bike riding has been a breeze and the running is ok. Not so when you apply water. I lecture my son, Ben, for hours on end about how procrastination is the thief of time but it is very much a case of do as I say, not as I do. With 3 weeks to go at this point, panic started to set in big time. I had not put in enough training, I need to rectify it immediately so what did I do? I started to get stroppy. Whilst this might be expected in a toddler or even a teenager, you would think that a 44 year old woman would know better. If you’ve ever seen the film Gremlins you will know what happens when Gizmo has a bit of a drenching. That was me. I swore, I splashed and kicked in the water, I threw things and, to my eternal shame, I even sobbed a little too. It was bad. Not even Yoda could settle my nerves. It was not attractive, except to one bloke in his 20s who tried to chat me up but I think that says more about him than it does about me. Have you ever seen that Victoria Wood sketch where she attempts a channel swim? That’s what I looked like bar the goose grease and a bag of sandwiches.

A new approach was required. Yoda, after she’d finally calmed me down and bought me a sausage sandwich (she knows what makes me tick), made a suggestion: why not try a snorkel to help with the breathing? Genius idea. Snorkel was purchased and after a couple of false starts of how to put the thing in my mouth (get the rude thoughts out of your mind please) I was away. It worked and it was wonderful. I was like Becky Adlington pounding up and down the pool. 20 lengths went by in a flash. Hurrah I hear you cry…………. Then wonderful husband Richard made a comment. Had I checked with the triathlon organisers that I could use a snorkel?


I went and checked.

I can’t use it.

Tantrum number two was at least in the privacy of my own home.

After that devastation (no lack of hyperbole here, chums) I decided that I was just going to have to get on with it. A calm descended and with it came an ability to get everything in sync. As soon as I stopped fighting, it suddenly all clicked in to place. I can now front crawl up and down a pool without it being controlled drowning. And then I made a decision. I wasn’t going to swim front crawl, so yah boo sucks. Breast stroke suddenly became easier too. I am Sharon Davies….. just with shorter legs.

In other news, all the other training is fine. Running and cycling are going great and I have finally set up the Just Giving pages too.

If you would like to donate anything at all to help these lovely hospices then it would be very much welcomed. My just giving page can be found at:

On it, it lists some of the events I’m taking part in.
Thanks for helping, even a little.


#stmaryshospice #ashgatehospice #nightingalehouse #willowwoodhospice #majesticpublications #wirralhospice #derianhouse

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