It went Swimmingly, thanks…

The Weesgerus (Be Relaxed in Afrikaans) Resort is just outside our town on the way to Vaalwater.

It is still winter here for another month. But I really, really needed some exercise after nearly 3 weeks of resting following my operation. Following 8 months of inactivity following the first gall stone attack…

I also have heard that swimming will improve the stomach muscles a lot after the gallbladder removal and the break around my belly button.

So- as I still can’t drive, and not wanting to walk the 4 km uphill to the resort, my wife took me over there. In my Camino days in 2011, it was such a breeze hiking up the hill, buying a bottled water at the shop, and returning downhill to my home.  Today, I bought my monthly ticket for the sum of ZAR 100 (abour US$ 9, I think…)

And then it was me and the swimming pool. The last time I really swam for a sport was at high school over 3 decades ago. I could then do a mean breast stroke…

But today, 30 years later? I usually just swim to get away from the Great White Sharks around our coast line. And maybe when a bottle of beer drifts away when I try my hand at fishing…

Fortunately, being winter, the swimming pools were nearly empty. No beautiful girls in bikini’s to ogle me.  There is a heated swimming pool on the left, and a cold one on the right. Being winter, I opted for the heated pool. I am just no Ice Bear…

I felt like a hippo leaving the dressing room. But I don’t do Speedo- they should be banned from the face of the earth. No, baggy surfing shorts is still my style, being a Natal boytjie when I grew up.  The home of the Sharks rugby team in Super 15, dear Aussies and Kiwis…

But now, in the heart of Blue Bull Country, I, with my blue baggy shorts, entered the water. Not as slick as our hero Chad le Clos, (our other national Olympic sports hero and gold medal winner,  who does not shoot girls in the bathroom…) No, it looked more like that unfortunate day underneath the Enola Gay, with first a boom and then a mushroom cloud spreading around the earth…  The people in town thought it was another earthquake- we had a huge one last week just 5 km from my mother in law’s house in Orkney, btw…) But it was just me, trying to get back to my old former self- that would be the one 30 years ago…

I popped up from underneath the water like a cork from a champagne bottle. And then- far, far away, over on the other side, I saw the opposite wall. A whole 25 meters away. Do you know how far 25 meters can be? Really, really, really far away! It takes much less than that to drown in. But I started bravely to paddle my arms, and weakly kick my feet. Some form of propulsion did finally kick in, because I moved slowly, oh so slowly forward.

It took place in this swimming pool. But at the moment, the beautiful grass banks is covered with guano. That is penguin doodoo… it stinks. When the first rains of summer comes, this will be a delight to see. But every breath tasted like sh… some kind of stinky stink thing…

After I saw my whole life since birth flash before my eyes, I finally reached the other side. And then I did an Olympic style turn, and went back. No not really… I first hanged onto the wall of the pool for a few minutes, while my lungs found their way back inside my chest, burning like a streak of napalm. When finally the darkness and the red stars subsided in front of my eyes, I tried returning to where I started.

I did 10 laps of this pool- 250 meters in total. One small step for man… one giant leap for me…

It does not sound like much. But I really, really tried hard to start my comeback in the fitness department. I really have this dream to be fit again, and to ride next year’s Argus Cycle race in Cape Town under 4 hours. That will really take a lot of training for me!

I will try and do this till spring is well underway, and then also start cycling again. That I may only start doing 6 weeks post operation.

I am really thankful that our part of the world has such short winters, the leaves of the mulberry trees in my back yard are already starting to bloom again. And our days are getting longer- more time for training, and living each day to the max…

I now have a new found respect for people who can swim a mile!

 

20 thoughts on “It went Swimmingly, thanks…

  1. Is daar nie ‘n Virgin Active gym naby julle nie? Moenie ophou swem nie, asb. ‘n Jaar gelede het my tong uitgehang na 250 meter. Vandag doen ek ‘n kilometer lag-lag, maar omdat my tyd beperk is, swem ek elke derde oggend net 500 meter. Dit doen wondere vir mens se gesondheid! Doen so voort!!!

  2. 😆

    Ek het nou so lekker gelag, ek sien myself! Ek is ook op die pad na great fitnees and health, maar heng dis moeilik!

    Ek ken Weesgerus baie goed! My oupa het net daar langsaan in Kokanje gebly, en ek was so paar maande in die koshuis daar! Lekker plek!

  3. Oh well done, Vosper ! – although you have reduced the seriousness of your achievement by describing so graphically the penguin guano. [grin]

  4. Glad to hear your recovery is going so well, though I don’t think myself brave enough to go swimming yet, even in a heated pool. But then the Free State is a good bit colder than Limpopo.

        • Nou vat ek nog kanse met die Polisieoord, maar nie Desember as daar baie mense is nie, dan is dit die koue een. Ek hoor hoe lief die oor- neus- en keelspesialiste vir Aventura Warmbad ook is. Lekker broeiplek vir die kieme so in die warm water. Ja, toe ons 20 jaar terug daar gebly het was Kroonpark nog mooi, ons het destyds ‘n jaarkaartjie redelik goedkoop gekoop en graag Sondae daar gaan braai en swem.

          • Vandag is die plek somersnaweke effe oorbevolk met dagbesoekers terwyl die karavaanpark meesal leeg staan tensy hier ‘n motorfietssaamtrek is. Om te dink dit was eens een van die top-oorde in die land.

  5. Die man in die huis alreeds ‘n jaar gelede afgetree uit SAPD -en ons was nog nooit by die oord nie – waar siele met die beroep glo vakansie kan hou. Nie eens by Port Edward nie . Hoop jy het dit baie geniet.

    • Dankie ek het! Sal maar daagliks moet gaan swem om daai R100 se waarde te kry- R3 per dag is darem nie te erg nie… Dis nogal ‘n baie lekker oord, veral met die mak rooibokke en blesbokke wat daar rondloop. Mooi uitsig, lekker kampplekke, lekker chalets… hoop die polisie betaal bietjie advertensiekostes vir my!

      • Ha ha..of gee vir jou sommer ekstra dag vir sielerus.Miskien is dit omdat ons nie eintlik kampeerders is of swemmers is nie.. ek weet wraggies nie hoekom het ons net nooit van die fasiliteite gebruik gemaak nie- ek dink hy het kursusse en sulke dinge daar bygewoon (die verblyf)

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