Rosa is a long term member of Spencer who trained with us in London before moving to Melbourne several years ago. She swam for us last year at the Otter 150th Anniversary meet at the London Aquatic Centre.
“We have been very lucky in Australia with relatively few cases of coronavirus. The federal government quickly stopped overseas visitors and returning residents had to quarantine for 14 days. Each state organised its own lockdown and although Victoria where I live was the most restrictive, it was relaxed compared with my daughters’ experiences in London.
The pools closed on 23 March and some opened on 1st June, but I have swum throughout lockdown as we have been allowed to walk across beaches to swim. Melbourne is on a bay so not the ocean with surf, but it can be rough and sharks do come in to nose around. Some days were just awful – heavy rain so stormwater pollution, a northerly wind which meant waves came at you from the beach and whacked you in unexpected ways. Either I didn’t swim or managed only 400m or so. Other days were magical – the sun shone, the sea sparkled, a gentle swell or even a glassy flatness. At South Melbourne, there are boat markers about 200m out from the beach and spaced at regular intervals offshore so it was possible to judge how far that you were swimming. I did just a bit over 80km in those 10 weeks, but It was getting very cold towards the end – 2 degrees colder than the usual average of 15 degrees during late autumn/early winter. Even the jelly fish had disappeared. I wore a wetsuit plus a neoprene cap which stopped ice-cream head. And, I always swam with my training partner or my husband for safety. On some warmer days, you had to watch out in case of head on collisions with other swimmers.
This week I began swimming in hot water – or that is what it felt like after the sea. You have to book a slot of 50 minutes and only 2 to a lane. No changing rooms or showers but toilets so we don’t pee in the pool.
Swimming in the sea has been exhausting! Sometimes all I did for the rest of the day was eat and read crime novels. But, I think that coronavirus lethargy overcame me too – I had no inclination to clean the house if no one was visiting. I was working part time as our wallpapering business could stay open during lockdown but that was an effort at times.
Other exercise? I hate running. Biking locally and walking the dog, but I do those things anyway. I recommend a TRX trainer for strength work – a great invention. There is always a door to hook it over. And, I discovered the swimming specific yoga site – I particularly like the express classes of 15 minutes. With no prospect of a massage, they helped with mobility – especially the thoracic spine class.
Our Nationals have been booked for late September – I’ll believe that when it happens!“