Tuesday 23 November 2021

A satisfying achievement :-)

Last summer I was regularly swimming at Blockhouse Bay Beach.  I would take the bus, walk down the hill and then swim.  I built up to 8 'widths' of the bay, which is about 1.2km and took me about an hour.

Then the weather got colder, and by June/July I was only staying in for about half an hour and swimming 600m.  I'd expected to be biking there (rather than busing) for these shorter swims, but I ended up going with a neighbour in her car instead.  I would swim while she walked her dogs at Craigavon Park.

Then Covid arrived in New Zealand for real.  At level 4 we weren't allowed to swim.  At level 3 we could swim in open water, but I was no longer keen to catch the bus and share everyone's germs.  So I started biking to the beach: initially swimming 4 widths, then 6, until today when I made it to 8 widths - 1.2km again :-)  I was super-pleased with myself.  Last week I swum 900m in 44 minutes; today I did 1.2km in 61 minutes.  I even kept to the same pace for the last two widths :-)

A happy Heather at the end of the swim.  It's been a gorgeous day today :-)

Looking across the bay - you can sort of see Sandy Bay and Flounder Bay, too, although they're much clearer when everything's in 3D!  The first power pylon on land is on the point at the far side of Flounder Bay - and is directly behind the house of one of my friends from church :-)  I think of her as I swim.

A few kids swimming near the beach.  It was during school hours, so mostly little kids, although also a few older ones whose classes presumably weren't scheduled today.

After my swim I usually have a hot drink (brought in an insulated mug) and a protein bar.  Today, for the first time in many years, I had a chocolate muesli bar!  I noticed last week that Nice&Natural have brought out two flavours of Rainforest Alliance certified (and hence made with child labour free cocoa) protein bars!  it was super-yum, and the chocolate was all melty :-)  I need to try the other flavour now - with cranberries and dark chocolate.  Our local Countdown stocks them.

The walk up from the beach is super-steep!  You can see the water way in the distance behind me.  You can also see my new mask.  I'm very pleased with it - it fits really well, has a good nose wire (flat metal, like a narrow long plate, rather than round like actual wire), and has a slot for a filter.  It was also made by someone who used to work as a prostitute in Kolkata, so by buying these masks we're helping her have better options in her life :-)  It's from Joyya, formerly called Freeset - you can buy them here.  Adult ones come in medium and large (large fits well over Martin's beard!), plus they do kids ones too.  $10 each, $12 for a pack of 7 filters and flat $8 for shipping.

Another shot of the sea from by where I park my bike.

The long grass where I park my bike was liberally scattered with tall daisies.  I picked a bunch and put them in a vase in our kitchen window :-)

I'm so grateful to God for being able to do this.  It's incredible to me that I have the strength and fitness to swim/walk/bike so far.  And I'm so grateful to be able to do so in such a beautiful location.  It's so incredibly much nicer than a swimming pool.  And maybe by the end of the summer I'll be doing 10 widths?!  That would be 1500m - the length of the swim leg of an Olympic* triathlon :-)  Who knows?  It would be fun!

*An Olympic triathlon also involves biking 40km and running 10km.  I think of what I'm doing as a 'mini triathlon', as I bike, swim and walk.  BUT I only bike 8.8km and walk 1.5km, and I have no interest in increasing either of those.  I'm all about the swimming :-)

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