quaker fencer

kathz isn't quite my name. I may be a Quaker. If I'm a fencer I'm a bad one and I don't do sabre. If I'm a Quaker I'm a bad one - but you've worked that out already. Read on. Comment if you like. Don't expect a reply.

Location: United Kingdom

Friday, October 19, 2007

towards a triathlon?

Most weeks, fencing is the only sport I do. Sometimes a friend offers me a lift to the swimming pool on Sunday, but I often say no as I'm so busy with work, housework or both. Last weekend I was fed up with work and housework so decided to take the chance.

It must have been months since I'd been to the pool. They've moved everything. Heading to the changing rooms, I hit a barrier and had to find a new route. That's going to confuse me for ages. It's the pool where I swam with the children when they still needed floats and armbands. Later I watched their swimming lessons and occasional galas there. There have been changes before - new locker-keys, for instance. But the route to the changing rooms has remained constant. I notice alterations, then forget about them. I'll probably hit the barrier again next time.

On my fourth length, my arms and legs were aching and I decided I'd had enough. By my tenth length, I felt I could go on for ever. But I stopped at 30 (750 metres) because I knew I was out of practice and wanted some energy left for the evening housework. 30 lengths is my minimum and I never do more than 40. It's not great but swimming that far - breast-stroke one way, back-stroke on my return - seems to do me some good.

I swim in the medium lane. On Sunday there were only two other swimmers in the lane - a father and small son. The father was faster than me when I did breast-stroke but had space to overtake. Every so often I paused politely at the end of the pool to let him go ahead. "I'm a bit too fast for the slow lane," I apologised and he smiled in friendly way, indicating that there was no problem.

Despite the heading, I'm not going to take up competitive swimming. I still haven't got the hang of the breathing and how to get my face wet without breathing in a lot of water. Swimming was, I told myself, a good way to get fitter for fencing.

Obviously I could aim at my own version of the modern pentathlon: epee (might get some hits), swimming (medium lane), running (for the bus), shooting (OK in fairgrounds where I sometimes win - otherwise I don't like guns) and riding (uncomfortable, not too sure about horses, but splendid opportunities for the jump from high window onto horseback, preceded by the swing from chandelier). But I've found something better.

Edinburgh University's Fencing Club offers an alternative triathlon: epee, drinking and chess. I'd like to give that a go. Come to think of it, I might be in with a chance.

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Anonymous Katie said...

Hello, look how far I have got into your archives! But can we do it with scrabble instead?

6:25 pm  

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