Deep breath… get ready… and splash.
When was the last time you had that feeling? Unless you’ve been braving the outdoor lakes or even the sea, it is likely you haven’t experienced the rush of jumping into a pool in a few months. But the wait is finally over. Pools are opening again as we inch closer to life before the COVID-19 breakout. Whether you are a social swimmer, club swimmer, professional, coach or volunteer, the pool is a place which brings us all together with one like mind. A love for swimming.
Returning to the pool is an exciting and maybe daunting prospect. I’ve seen a mixture of swimmers that are raring to go, and others not so keen. Everyone has different reasons to be at the pool, so if you’re struggling for motivation, I thought I would give you (or remind you of) a few reasons why to get swimming post-lockdown.
1. Get active
Sounds a bit obvious I know, but swimming has a ridiculous amount of health benefits, and you don’t have to be Micheal Phelps to reap the rewards. Lockdown will probably have restricted the amount of exercise you were able to do, but don’t feel like you need to play catch up. Start slow and steady and give yourself time to adapt. Rushing in and pushing yourself too hard will not only tire you out, but probably have a negative impact mentally if you set unrealistic expectations. So practice a bit of caution before attempting to swim the channel on your first day back, and that feeling after a good swim will have never felt so sweet!
2. Socialising & routine
For many people myself included, the pool is where we meet friends, colleagues and generally get to spend time around people. Again this is something that was taken away from us during the lockdown, and now it is time to get the routine back. Although there may be new safety measures in place, they won’t take away the enjoyment of spending time doing something you love with the people you have missed during the lockdown months. I will add though – definitely double check your pools timetable before planning a session! It’s likely the opening times will be adjusted, and there’s nothing worse than going for a swim and being turned away at the door.
3. Achieve your goals
This is for all those chasing goals in the water. Whether it’s that body weight you want to reach, attempting your first triathlon or your next race, keep this in mind when you return to the pool. Although it is likely the lockdown might have cancelled the event you were working towards, there are still more coming in the future. Even it feels like they are a long way off, you will thank yourself when you get there with the work that you put in now. In a nutshell… don’t give up!
4. You love swimming
Very simple, but very true. Even if at times you might have different words to describe your emotions towards swimming, this will always be the reason why you go to the pool. If you haven’t discovered this yet, then definitely give swimming a go! You never know, you might find your new favourite escape from the usual day to day by introducing a new activity to your routine. I might be a little biased giving this advice since I can’t imagine my life without swimming, but I have certainly found even more appreciation for the sport post-lockdown than I realised I had before.
My name is Laura Stephens, and I am a swimmer for Great Britain. I have competed on all the international stages bar the Olympics, which I am currently training towards. I started off my swimming journey the same as most children, by attending my local swim school. From there I transitioned into club swimming and competing, from county to regional to national and international levels. I have also volunteered and coached on poolside and shed a lot of sweat and tears in pursuit of becoming the best swimmer I can be. During the COVID-19 lockdown I started a blog with my partner Roman. Content includes all the things we love, especially swimming, and if you would like to check it out here that would be greatly appreciated. We also have our Instagram and Pinterest pages where we save all our favourite content!