Meet a member at a distance – Toby

Hi everybody

My working hours and place of work is unpredictable, but if time allows I train at Crystal Palace on Monday and Tuesday, Ernest Bevin on a Thursday and Dulwich on Saturdays (attendance at all four is rare sadly).  I have trained with Spencer for about 10 years I think.

I swam for a local club as a child, but I was a more serious triathlete than swimmer.  I studied at Loughborough University and my main attraction for attending Loughborough was being able to train with the high-performance triathlon squad which contained a few current, future and ex Olympians at the time!  Safe to say I was put in my place and my Olympic aspirations took a back seat.

Where are you based and what isolation approach are you taking

I live in Balham with my wife Leanne.  I’m delighted to tell you Leanne is pregnant, and we are expecting a baby girl in September (our first).  Given Leanne’s pregnancy, we are careful in lockdown whilst still making sure we go out for walks etc so we didn’t go crazy!  The nearest thing to a trip either of us have made is going for check-ups/scans at the hospital (where I need to wait outside).  

One nice thing in lockdown is seeing more of Leanne.  We both work long hours, so it has been nice to be in the same place.  However, our respective working hours have got even longer since this started so we still do not get to relax together as much as we would like.  This has also meant I have missed all the Spencer virtual socials which is a shame.  I also appreciate many people are currently unable to work and therefore we are very fortunate in that respect.   

Leanne is a fussy vegetarian and I love food (all kinds).  As are now eating together more than before (when we would typically eat meals at work), my diet has really improved by eating healthy vegetarian food Monday-Thursday. I am also only drinking alcohol at the weekends.  

I miss seeing friends and family in person.  However I am enjoying not feeling the need to rush around in free time as much as before.  When we get a break at the weekend it is nice sitting around reading or watching boxsets without feeling like you should be seeing somebody or doing something more productive!  

Coping with the break from training

I am missing swimming because I like having a coach and teammates to push me along and share experiences with.  Seeing everybody trying their best motivates me to do the same.  Without this is it harder to push yourself.  

I am running in the mornings and doing some online exercise classes.  Barrys Bootcamp is pretty tough and I find I do try harder in this class than when training alone.  I have also been doing some of Leanne’s pregnancy exercise classes which are surprisingly tough!  I don’t find I get the same endorphin feeling as after a hard swimming session.

I have done Steve’s pyramid Gutbuster a few times and enjoy this in the park on a nice day

What am I most looking forward to about getting back to training?

Seeing everybody and actually swimming.  This will be the longest break since I joined Spencer.  My arms and back are getting weaker by the day as there is nothing that really matches the workout that a swimming session gives you.

I may try and get into one of the lakes over the summer to at least get wet for a while.

Missed competitions

I was due to swim at the nationals which was likely to be my last major competition for a period as I expect the new baby will mean I need to scale down swimming for a while 

Keep safe and healthy everybody and I really hope we all see each other soon!


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