Monday 29 March saw the second stage of the first phase of lockdown restrictions eased across England – The restrictions relaxed on Monday allowed people to meet up outdoors in groups of six or two households, and allow a return to outdoor sports. This includes swimming in outdoor facilities, great news!
We have loved seeing all the people getting back to swimming and asked Lucy Thornton what she thought about getting back into water after all this time, here is what she had to say –
“Happy Monday” as it was coined, really did live up to its name for swimmers like myself who finally had the chance to kickstart their swimming season and rekindle that all important “feel for the water”. As an Irish record holder and multiple national medallist, being unable to swim for an enormous chunk of the past year has been incredibly tough to come to terms with, both physically and mentally.
Yet on Monday, it finally felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel. As outdoor pools opened, I headed down to Hampton Open-Air Pool to take my long-awaited dip. The Covid friendly set-up which included: outdoor changing rooms, mandatory mask wearing upon arrival and exit and all the cleaning procedures in place, made me feel at ease and excited to take the plunge alongside several others who had booked into the session. As the sun poked its head through the clouds, the pool was illuminated with swimmers’ smiles. It felt like brighter days were dawning.
Despite my efforts to maintain some level of cardio-fitness over the past 12 months through incorporating running, cycling and circuit training into my lockdown training programme, the injuries I have sustained through the high impact nature of these alternatives has left me with a new-found respect for the gentleness of water. This has added to my list of reasons why I firmly believe that outdoor swimming is one the most therapeutic ways to exercise -it really does wonders for your muscles and your mindset!
Although the prospect of training with my teammates at Ealing Swimming Club and getting back to competing at both international and domestic competitions is still a distant reality, I will be continuing to enjoy the exhilarating feeling of getting back into the swing of training with my the new teammates; the tweeting birds, the trees and the (sometimes) glorious English sky.