There was a lot more swimmers out this Friday almost double the number. The river was surprisingly warm and it felt lush compared to last week. There were 3 others who had never swam in the river before so I didn't feel like such a loser!! I spoke to one of the other ladies desperate to hear their stories and was told that it took one lady over a year and a half to get used to it, whilst others were straight in there.
I just jumped straight in, no hanging about and floated around whilst I watched the rest of them get in. They all swam up the river straight away. That left just 2 of us. We decided that we would try breast stroke just to see what it was like going under that deep murky water. That was quite horrible and I could feel the fear rising up in me every time I out my head in that horrible water. I decided breast stroke wasn't the way forward. I decided to just go for it and I put my head in and swam about 4 strokes. This was a breakthrough that I had been waiting for. I came up and started struggling for breath and had a very tight feeling in my chest and started getting wheezy again. I treaded water until I got my breath back and then did 5 strokes, then 6 then 7.
It was becoming easier but I couldn't understand why I was so out of breath. My delightful supportive companion, Emma, suggested that I slow it right down, stop kicking my legs and just go really really slow. I did this and swam quite a long way before my breathing started to get the better of me. Even though I am breathing and swimming, I don't think its as natural as in the pool and I am getting a build up of carbon dioxide in my lungs as I am still a bit panicky and that's whats causing the breathlessness.
However I was doing it, I was so chuffed that I had least made a 100% improvement to last week. We just swam a little, stopped for a while and swam again increasing the distance each time. We actually swam right into each other twice but sighting is something I will learn next week instead. After a really long interval I swam right into the bank!! Doh!!!!
We just kept swimming up and down a small stretch of river. I felt that just having someone who was so supportive and patient made a tremendous difference. Even though it was her first time she took to it really well and after I got out she swam to met the others. Without her presence I don't think I would have succeeded as I did.
Next week I am going to swim with the rest of them and if I need to take a small break I will. I feel so much more confident than before and the next few weeks will just be continuing to do more, relax and get the mileage in. I am so relieved to have evened up the score.