Tag Archive for Swimming

The lengths I go to for a swim…

Last weeks climb is nothing in comparison to today’s challenge.

Today though was a very different type of challenge, this one was more of an anxiety, need for preparation and gaining some control over a situation.

I explain my WHY in What does ……  Today was one of those days; the kind of day where something out of my control was happening, something I couldn’t hide away from and something I didn’t want to hide from.

Because if I did, I would be disappointing and letting my son down.

So, time for a plan…..

My son was invited to a swim party!  A party where I was required to be in the water with him, something we had done before…. But never like this!

This was different, it was in a pool I had never been to, it was in a party environment, so I didn’t know if there would be lights, music or inflatables.  Oh and it was with many of the mums and dads from the school playground!

I set to work, I had a plan…. I was not going to let my son down, I WAS NOT going to let his friend and her family down by bailing out (I have paid for numerous birthday parties and know just how much they cost)

The pool and leisure centre was one that I had actually used before….. All be it 19 Years ago, before it was fully refurbished and renovated though.

This was a positive though …. The wonders of the Internet and EVERYTHING being online I was able to find a floor plan of the new building, a ‘street view’ of the exterior and images from the centres website to put together enough information to make me feel like I knew where I was going.  A virtual walk through if you like.

Then came my next worry, when in the pool, would I be able to see my son? Short answer is obvious….. No!

I didn’t want to ask another parent to look after him, I wanted to enjoy the party with him, but without keeping him all to myself and stopping him playing with his friends.

So, with his help I got from the changing rooms (where my cane was locked away) and into the pool.  I headed for a space at the side as to not get in anyone’s way.

I initially heard him playing, but soon the noise increased and it was hard to make him out.

A casual  “Hey, is Lawremce playing nicely?”  Gave me a conversation starter to find out roughly where he was in the pool, so I could focus in.  It was then a friend and fellow school mum said that she was keeping a look out for him as she knew I would find it tricky.  And as he was playing with her son it wasn’t difficult !!

Lawrence is a confident paddler, the party was in the training pool and I wanted him to enjoy his time at the party, hence another WHY I had to be there…. Knowing that everyone in the pool was known by the party hosts enabled me to relax my fear of stranger danger.

At one point. He came over to me and asked if I wanted to play, we had a real laugh, he was guiding me, without guiding me (if that makes any sense)

The one hour swim part of the party was over too soon and not only had Lawrence had a fabulous time, I too had had the chance to relax and enjoy the party fun.

Please take a moment to answer in the comments below; a few little question for me…

1. Would you, previously have thought this was a bit obsessive?

2.  Would you fear the opinion of your peers if you asked for support?


Getting on my bike!

So with just under 29 weeks until I find myself running the great south run,  which I am doing for 2 reasons…..

1) To raise money for guide dogs, who without their support and funding, I would not be have half the independence that I have today.

2) As a person achievement for me – I’m not going to break any speed records, but I am going to complete it by jogging/sprinting the entire course.

As a mum of 2, the reading on the scales has up radially gone up, something that I am determined to change.  I don’t believe in fad diets, but healthy eating and that everything is good and allowed within moderation.  To help with this I have joined my local Slimming World group for moral support.  This hasn’t been without its own ups and downs, but it has also proved that a lot of the scales gain has come from loosing or thinking that I had lost my independence…..   Life also gets in the way of exercise alot of the time, well the excuse that it does is actually what gets in the way!

With a guide dog I do try and walk as much as possible, I don’t have the luxury of jumping in the car to pop out for milk!  But I really missed the bike rides and the swimming.

So guess what?

I do both !!!!!  With the help of a friend I have gradually built up my confidence to swim, he has helped me strengthen my technique and we aim to go swimming together once a week, in addition to this I have signed up for a swim membership and often find myself at the pool, by myself at least once more each week.

Now that the weather is cheering up (although as I write this, it’s started to rain!) today the bike got dusted off and taken out….. With my daughter who is 7 we rode 4.2 miles to a nice pub for lunch, before taking the slightly longer route of 4.8 miles home again.

Some of you may be reading this with a sense of fear, for not only my safety, but that of my daughters…. Please trust me when I say that I would not do this without feeling safe.  I am a firm believer that pavements are for both cycles as well as pedestrians (showing respect for each others space) I am also very lucky to live within fareham and its neighbouring town of Gosport, that both have a wonderful network of cycle track and designated cycle lanes on the roads.

With my central vision and concentration I am able to cycle very comfortably within these perimeters and pay full attention to my daughter.


Today we did also had a bit of help from a friend as my daughter had not previously had a lot of confidence with her riding.

But once she started there was no stopping her, I think she definitely carries my determined gene.

Helpful advice delivered in the wrong way

Being unable to drive, I rely heavily on my feet and the aid of my GD. This means that once the kids are in bed and the other half is home I can go to the later and quieter swimming session at the local leisure centre.


It had been a really good session, and as I was walking home a little exhausted after my swimming, it was a clear night but a little cold, we’d almost reached home when I heard a van drive past me slowly, then the same van drive back past on the opposite side then I heard it behind me for the third time, and it stopped.

My pace quickened, but I was very aware that I was on a very quiet part of the road and it was 10.45 pm, Vicky felt my unease and quickened even further when there was a flash of lights and the sound of a siren behind me.

The van was, in fact, a police van containing 2 officers who had stopped me from making me aware of recent dog thefts in the area. I have the utmost respect for the police, but they got the brunt of my upset when they walked up to me.

I was shaking and still petrified when they reached me, I had never felt so scared. I was very aware of the recent attempts of dog thefts, so full pelt they felt my anger. They had, in fact, by trying to help put me in fear of danger. If they had not put on the siren, I don’t know what I would have done. It was a horrible feeling that haunted me for hours after. They did apologise for causing me distress, and I too apologised for my outburst, the reason they had, in fact, sounded the siren was because they had come to realise that they were causing me fear, but at a point where to just drive off would have been worse.

They offered to drive us home and told me to be aware of my surroundings and if I felt in fear to contact 101 immediately. I am grateful for their concern and information, but as I explained to them, the delivery was a little off.

Being on my own makes me very aware of my surroundings, and I’ve been known to grow anxious when passed by a jogger, but that is the female stranger danger aware in me, not the blindie.

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