I’m a pretty poor swimmer. But since I swam in the sea on holiday a few years ago, I can see what all the fuss is about. So I decided to try swimming in Hampstead Mixed Bathing Pond – in May. The water was so cold that I got in and straight out again.
A couple of weeks later the weather had warmed up and I went in again, this time swimming as far as the first lifebelt (eight of which are arranged in a rough square to give swimmers a visual cue for doing laps) and, slightly panicky, swam back to the ladder.
Since I have asthma, I’ve always been a bit worried about not being able to catch my breath, and the pressure of water, especially cold water, makes it harder to breathe – I end up gasping for air, tensing up, and it gets very hard to swim.
But this morning I successfully completed three laps around the pond, feeling like I could have done more!