Meet a member in lock down – Jane

Jane trains with Spencer at Dulwich and Crystal Palace. She must be one of the few GB swimmers to have completed 10 events in the 2020 decathlon, having swum 11 individual events at the Swim South East Long Course Championships in January.

Can you remember your last swim session?

It was one at Dulwich. I stopped slightly before the rest of you as I was worried about coronavirus having  2 children who are in the extremely vulnerable category which has resulted in us being government shielded.

How are you coping being out of the water?

Swimming has been a constant in my life throughout some very difficult times. I love the training and the friendships and the routine. I’m also reliant on swimming as rehabilitation/treatment for my hypermobility as I have a genetic disorder with collagen. I’ve been worried not only about becoming unfit, but also losing muscle which holds my body together where my ligaments are defective.

What do I miss the most?

Hard training, feeling that I’m doing good for my body, camaraderie and the meeting up with friends in the golf club on a Saturday after swimming.

Do you have a daily fitness regime?

I’m doing everything I can to avoid deconditioning of my muscles. My daughter and I both have a physio programme as she has the same condition as me. We’ve both had phone/zoom appointments with our specialists to make sure we can keep our muscles as strong as possible out of the water, during lockdown. I’ve bought a smart turbo trainer and am using an app so have done some pretty brutal (considering a no biking for 15 years baseline) interval sessions. I try to use our TRX suspension trainer for upper body strength but Constance monopolises it by using it as a swing.

How am I getting on with Steve’s gutbusters?

I’m way too hypermobile for these, so have had my training plan set out with the help of my physio. The turbo recommendation from Steve is working well for me though.

Any recommendations for teammates?

As a doctor, I probably need to say, please  don’t put yourself at risk. The public message seems to focus too much on survival where little is said  about the long term consequences of COVID, such as permanent lung scarring, damage to the heart, kidneys, muscle wastage and psychological sequalae. I know people are desperate to get back into the water for fitness but this may actually do the exact opposite. I want our team healthy and well long term. We have team trophies to win!

Which competitions have you missed/will you miss?

Being in the government shielding group means I am likely to be away from swimming much longer than the rest of the team,  so  I can’t see myself competing for the foreseeable future.

How is your family coping with you not swimming ?

There have been positive comments about the absence of chlorine smell.

What are you most looking forward to when you can get back in the water?

I miss the competition that comes in a normal training session and the way our coaches motivate us to push ourselves. I’m hoping for heaps of encouragement from teammates and coaches on my return as I anticipate it will be tough.

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