When I go home I automatically revert into a teenage whose mum does everything for them – laundry, washing up, shopping, cooking, tidying…. I’m literally only one development stage above my mum brushing my teeth and combing my hair*.
But this time it was different. Instead of being glued to the sofa watching movies back-to-back, yelling demands and eating exclusively junk food, Lettice 2014 did her own food shopping and left the house several times*. #SteadyOn
On Sunday 23rd February, my first full day at home, I walked to Tesco before midday and bought healthy food to eat for the duration of my visit. Later, I went shopping with my mum and even – even – helped her take stuff to the dump! #DaughterOfTheYear To top it off I ate healthy 75% of the day! #AthleteOfTheYear
Monday was just as awesome as I ventured out the house and went swimming with my mum. After extensive research, consisting of a choice between two pools, we went with Abertillery Leisure Centre. It was the nearest one, 25m in length and only cost £5.60 for the both of us. #Bargain #LondonCouldLearnFromWales
Abertillery Leisure Centre
The first thing I noticed when entering the pool was that it was busy. Sadly it was half term week. To make matters worse there was only one lane and it was hired out by the local swimming club. #MoreLanesPlease #WalesCouldLearnFromLondon
So in addition to kids I also had to carve my own lane whilst dodging other adults who were also lane carving. I almost had a few head on collisions! Luckily nothing serious happened though just a few arm clashes with the guy next to me.
As soon as I got in the pool I noticed the water was very murky. I didn’t want to over think it but I suspect the kids and their bladders had something to do with it.
I did 110 lengths. My goal was 120, which would have worked out as 3000m, but we got evacuated from the pool. They didn’t announce why, but my beginners level lip reading skills thinks Lifeguard 1 said ‘poo’ to Lifeguard 2. Just the thought of being anywhere near poo, but potentially swimming with it for over an hour, made me feel ill.
If it weren’t for the evacuation I could have swam 3k. Although I felt tired around 106 lengths and my right foot started to hurt I could have cried a river, built a bridge and got over it. #NeverMind
One of my highlights of swimming in Wales was stumbling upon a new phrase. In the changing rooms post-poo I heard a grandma say to her two grandchildren ‘dry tidy’. She used the term several times. In phrases such as “your clothes stick to you after swimming because it’s hard to dry tidy” and “try and dry tidy”. Basically she meant dry yourself as much as possible.
The grandma highlighted one of the major bugbears with swimming. For some reason towels lose their ability to absorb water when it’s pool water as opposed to bath or shower. God knows why but you can never dry tidy after a swim like you can at home.
At around 6pm the Swimming club juniors got in. I was a little intimidated as one of them was wearing a jacket the said GBR on the back. Also, their coach spent a good 15 minutes writing plans on the whiteboard indicating business, serious business was about to ensue. Interestingly soon after the juniors got in I could smell washing up liquid – do proper swimmers use washing up liquid to wash their swimming costumes? I just chuck mine in the normal wash. #Ooops
Where are my wings?
As I was about to start another length a kid entered my vision. I had no idea why he was approaching me so I was a bit apprehensive. It turned out that he had lost his goggles and asked me if I’d seen them. I said no, but that I’d look out for them. I felt bad for the kid so as soon as I started swimming I genuinely looked out for them. No more than a few strokes in I found his googles. #AngelInTheMaking
My only teenage moment during my trip home was when I was leaving and couldn’t find my stuff that I wanted to bring back to London. I’d left it out and my mum had thought to tidy it away! #Mums So I had to look in places where Mums put stuff away like cupboards and draws and not places where I leave stuff like floors and chairs!
Amazingly I have reached my £300 target! It feels completely wonderful. I can’t quite believe it! My new target is £500. Which is really scary but hopefully it is possible! Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me. It is an incredible feeling. £300 can build a well in a developing country.
* I actually forgot to brush my teeth on Tuesday morning. #TheShame
* Technically I did wear pyjamas on some of those outings but Lettice 2014 covered them with a coat and jogging bottoms.
*Welsh for the swim