As you know, I am part of the official #BlogSquad for the Sport Relief Swimathon 2016, and one of the most fantastic opportunities to come out of this commitment was back in December when the #BlogSquad was invited to an evening of swim training with Olympic legend and Swimathon President, Duncan Goodhew.
It’s not every day you get to swim with an Olympian and I was equal parts nervous and excited. Of course, the day came round and I remember feeling extraordinarily tired and run down (it was #AdventRunning month!) and wondered how I’d make it through a day of work, let alone a few hours in the pool. Luckily a restorative bit of malt loaf on the way to the pool gave me the sugar rush I needed to enjoy my evening with the other bloggers and Duncan. Although I was really dreading being photographed whilst feeling so rotten.
As soon as I arrived Duncan came over and started chatting to me about swimming, running, education, essentially everything. I really felt at ease and excited to start swimming. Duncan was great in focussing on each of our strengths and weaknesses and giving us different drills to do depending on our abilities. The one thing he noticed about me was that I overthink things enormously (which is true in everyday life too) and that I need to relax and let things flow naturally. I’ve really tried to take that piece of advice away with me and apply it in my current training. We spent a lot of time focussing on our front crawl and after a few lengths where I applied Duncan’s advice, I got a high-five and a ‘that was sensational’ from him. Needless to say, that pretty much made my life.
We then spent a bit of time working on our breast stroke; the stroke I feel most comfortable with at the moment. Duncan noted that I have a powerful kick (this probably had something to do with #AdventRunning too – thanks team!) which certainly helps with this stroke, but I know I suffer with poor upper-body strength which affects everything else. This is something I’ve really tried to work on in recent weeks though and judging by how achy my upper arms are at the moment, I think something positive must be happening!
At the end of the evening we did some filming with the Swimathon team before parting ways. Swimming with an Olympian is one of those surreal opportunities that you don’t ever really expect to get the chance to participate in, so I am incredibly grateful to Duncan for giving up his time and for everyone behind the scenes making this happen. I left the pool that evening feeling incredibly inspired and ready to tackle my swimming challenge with 100% enthusiasm.