Last week we were on holiday and very nice it was too. On the downside there was no internet, so
I was unable to blog, I was also unable to swim. So this weekend when I realised we were in Warwickshire running our (tremendously well received!) Gait analysis CPD course, I started to despair at the prospect of three weeks without a swim.
With a little internet searching I found several lake and quarry venues around Tamworth but these were all a good 45mins from our location. Then, after a while, I stumbled upon a place on the River Avon called 'The old swimming spot', a mile or so up stream from Stratford-upon-Avon. (Do you know this place Anna?) A couple of wild swim reviews mentioned that, rather than potter about between the banks, it was a nice 1.2 mile swim to Stratford-upon-Avon. Add to this that it was only 12 mins from our location and FREE! and this all started looking like a very attractive proposition. The reviews also mentioned it was best to try this before 8.30am as the river started getting a little crowded with hire boats and rowing clubs.
I hatched a straightforward plan to get out and about before seven, swim to Stratford-upon -Avon then turn around and swim back, but uncertain of what exactly to expect I packed two small dry bags with towel, clothes and shoes to tow behind me just in case the return trip was impractical. Well, its just as well I did! The ability of a young child to completely throw the best laid plans into complete chaos still amazes me and I didn't arrive at the swim spot until 8.30am.
However, it looked completely deserted on the water, 'the calm before the storm' as it turned out.
I suited up and set off down the river, I immediately got the impression that this wasn't really a normal thing to do as observers and walkers on the bank stared and pointed and this continued for the entire swim. I covered about half a mile then rounded two corners staying in the middle of the river to avoid trees and to get a good view of what was ahead and was greeted by the sight of several Two's and Four's heading towards me at speed. I moved well over towards the bank as they whizzed past, I moved back out and around the next corner was faced with a canal boat, so moved over to give it plenty of room too. This lot stared and pointed too, then they thought it might be better to wave and say hello, which was nice. Then came the flotilla of Swans and having now warmed up, the rowers came back the other way even faster.
All of this was no where near as bad as it sounds and the swim was fantastically enjoyable, but it was enough to make me decide a return trip was perhaps not the wisest, so I got out at the imposing Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, changed and strolled back to the start point grinning ear to ear at the most enjoyable swim I have had for a while. It may have been cut short, but in May we are returning to Warwickshire to run our Functional Assessment of the Shoulder course, .....get booking now! So I get another shot at Stratford and back. This time I plan to sneak out before anyone is awake and whilst the river is quiet. Will I do it this time?........Watch this space.