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Month: December 2016

Winter hols and the Boom! generation

Winter hols and the Boom! generation

I’m away from home at the moment, looking after various beasties while their owners are away on their hols, throwing themselves down snow-blanketed mountains (actually, turns out that there was no snow, ah well, they had a snow machine instead…!). It’s nice to be away from SmugTown, especially at this time of year, as the area swells with overly-exuberant people desperate to have their fill of bucket-list-experience-ness (grumpy gal, eh). I’m currently in quite a rural area, with access to the countryside but having easy access too to shops etc. I like it here!

It’s a few days until we wave farewell to the grottyness of 2016, hurray. Before I travelled up here, I managed to do a 5.5k swim on Christmas Eve, only ending the swim at that point because the centre was shutting early. Oh, ‘twas bliss! I had the pool to myself for the most part, and the temperature was fine, and I managed to zone out a bit. And the staff at this particular pool are friendly and jolly, which is just what a person needs at times…

We did our own little sea-dippage on Christmas day itself. For the last fourteen years or so, I’ve always taken part in whatever organised mass sea swim is happening near me on Chrimbo Day, or Boxing Day. And yep, I have been known to be a little competitive, aiming to be the last female to emerge out of the sea – this has had unfortunate (and serious) hypothermic consequences of late. But the local sea swim has, for me, become just too crowded and trendy. That’s great for the money-raisers (if people actually do donate owt), but I can’t bear it. It’s not just the crowds – it’s the sense of alienation that overwhelms me now when I take part. It used to feel like a local event, with about fifty participants, and I would feel accepted and part of something joyous. Now, it’s anonymous, and it feels as if something smug has taken over. So we decided to have our own swim before the crowds came down for the organised event.

It was gorgeous! Despite the crummy windy, wet weather, it was lovely to bimble in the water, having the place and beach to ourselves, feeling as if we were the only ones…I lay in the water at one point, knowing that I would remember this moment of clarity. The sights, the sounds, the scent and taste of the salty sea water all combined with the bracing sensations to make up one wonderful (and so, so much needed) bundle of joy.

Anyway, back to the here and now. I have my bike, swimming and running gear with me, although the weather’s turned very cold, and I’m not awfully keen on going anywhere on icy roads and paths! I did 11.5 hours’ exercise last week and I can’t see me achieving that figure this week, sadly. Not unless I count the hours of dog-walking…nah, I can’t, I’d just be fooling myself! I just can’t face cycling or running on icy roads and paths (they’ve not gritted anywhere here yet).

When I took le chien out ce matin, it was indeed cold and brrr-y – but calm and somehow soothing. Ice and frost had crept across every nook and cranny, and a muted fog had shrouded the landscape. I loved it! I felt comforted by it all, weirdly, even tho’ it’s an accurate representation of my mind. I only met a couple of other dog-walkers, and I managed to get through my anxiety. My nerves about this are exacerbated by the worry that the dogs will go for each other (despite my dog being extremely well-behaved, placid and jolly-natured). I could hear the ice/frost cracking underfoot, my cheeks felt rosy and it felt goooooood to be taking in lungfuls of cool, fresh air. A two hours’ walk, which I welcomed with open arms.

Of course, the triathlon pages that I follow on social media would laugh at and mock me for my meagre efforts. I don’t know why I continue to read their posts. The majority of those who post seem to be of the (copyright of my partner) “Boom!” generation…this is a pet peeve: I will avoid anyone who says “Boom!” in a certain context. It’s better and healthier for each party if I do this! There’s little modesty on these sites, people ask the most inane questions (“But, but… there is no such thing as an inane question!” Ha, oh yep, there is!), and no one can spell or use correct grammar (hmmm, maybe I should just have another proofread check of my own work here…). Examples are “Has anyone swam the…”, “I done the so-and-so race…”. Yep, I’m a snob and I’m not afraid to admit it, and I’m sure that I’ll deeply regret saying this in a public domain, especially when someone corrects my own work. But it’s my site so I’m allowed to make mistakes…!

There’ve been continual posts showing people’s Christmas-y (and uber-expensive) tri-related gifts, and there are so many posts about extremely specific training plans. That’s great if it all works for you – but don’t criticize those of us who find such plans too restrictive. We don’t have a go at you for using your plans (well, not on the site itself, at any rate)! To my joy, there have been a few teeny voices describing a lack of gadgets, personal coaches, £4k bikes and oh-so-very-detailed training and eating, sorry, fuelling plans.

The majority of me doesn’t want to belong to Club Boom! And yet…a tiny, ickle part of me is desperate to feel able to join…