After thinking about what I can do to keep this blog interesting, I decided to have a look at different pools and activities. This snowballed pretty quickly, and has resulted in some very tired muscles, a few bruises, and a real buzz.
On Monday I came back from swimming at Clissold Leisure Centre (that’ll be in another post) and tried to research synchronised swimming in London. There’s hardly anything about where to give it a go in London, so I emailed the ASA to see how to try it out. I got a response the next day, to try Seymour Synchro Swim School and that they run sessions on evenings and weekends. I replied asking for the address and actual times on the Tuesday. And didn’t hear anything else.
On Saturday morning, I received emails from 4 different people all answering separate parts of my email. I cobbled together the main message as:
Be at Queen Mother Sports Centre for 3pm that day. Bring t-shirt, leggings & trainers for a ‘land session’ to be followed by a pool session from 4pm-5.30pm, for which I need costume, towel, flip flops, goggles, swimming cap and nose clip. There will be members of staff expecting me and I’m effectively booked in.
Right. Erm I guess I need to go today then. A quick pop in to Lillywhites en route to get a cap and a clip and off I went.
The leisure centre is really nice, incredibly warm and has 3 pools.
I arrived at the desk and said I was there to try the swimming. There was an older man with a small boy next to me in the queue and who said he was heading there too so would walk me up. He asked if I was an instructor, I explained that certainly not and I just wanted to try it. He said it was his daughter’s first try today as well. I asked how old his daughter was, he replied “she’s 9”.
There I was, in a room with ten 9 year-olds, and four 17 year-olds. I am 30. The instructor said she was really pleased I came along and no I wasn’t in the wrong place. We started to run around as a warm up. The worst thing about this was that the 9 year-old children have parents, roughly my age, who sat at the back throughout the whole session. It’s a bit unnerving when you are stretching about when there are people there staring at you, because let’s face it, a 30 year old woman in a class of 9 year olds is a bit weird.
I was pretty much given a one to one session, which was amazing, and I was really pushed, which I think is nice as I do tend to just swim along at my own pace when I usually go.
The session started with 40 x 10m lengths of front crawl as a warm up. Then we covers floating and sculling, quite straightforward. The ‘egg beater’ is the leg movement which is used to tread water. This is a challenge! The coordination of moving your legs at different times felt unsteady, and especially as you are aiming to sit as high as possible in the water with your chest at the surface means you are pushing really hard. Then we covered travelling whilst doing this, back forward, left and right. This is exhausting, and I can see why an hour of leg stretching is required beforehand. Lastly we looked at legl lifts which have shown me how much improvement in my flexibility I need to get the 90 degree angle!
The lockers, showers and changing rooms are all great, but just slightly too few. And the nakedness is there again as there aren’t any cubicle showers. To be honest by this point I was more than happy with a quick rinse and get ready.
This was probably the best and most intense exercise I have ever done. There are muscles I didn’t know I had aching in such a satisfying way today.
I think the main thing that I wanted to get across is that it was great to find a class that wasn’t just for kids, and to be pushed in a class and try something new. I think there are a lot of things that people don’t know enough about, or don’t have the confidence to have a go at. That’s what this blog is about for me, and I really enjoyed the class and will be going again next week!