Spring is finally here, and with it lighter mornings, which for the swim family means that scraping the ice off of the car at half-past-too-early is fast becoming a distant memory. The early morning dip is something of a rite of passage for every swimmer, and frequently the first asked question when speaking with others is whether or not you do swim really early in the mornings.
So why do swimmers have to do early morning? Well for many it’s being able to get pool time. Pools are businesses as well as being community hubs, and used for school lessons, learn to swim lessons, lifesaving classes, waterpolo, artistic swimming, aswell as general public swimming – all of which have to compete for time. So for many clubs, it’s an early start or late finish to get the training done.
There are benefits to that early start though. Swimming gets the circulation going, helps clear a drowsy head from the fog of a night’s sleep allowing our swimmers to be bright eyed and raring to go for school. There’s the obvious benefit to mental health too, and that rush of endorphins at the end of the session (which as swim parents we may only get with a stint at the gym or a jog around the block). As a swim parent have you noticed how a few pre-plunge grunts turn into full blown sparky chat on the way home after the session?!
With mist draping the hills and hanging in valleys, we’ve occasionally stopped on the morning drive to various pools to watch herds of wild deer starting their day (pretty cool), and together enjoyed the all important second breakfast when getting home (bacon butty (but not every time Coach – honest!)). And there is something about getting on with the rest of the day knowing that whilst friends and classmates were sound asleep, you’ve already done something with the day – maybe even achieving a PB in a morning time trial!
But I was surprised last week by the Big Otter after the Monday training. As the sun rose into the cloudless morning sky that day, and the sunshine began to stream in through the full length windows into the pool – the colour of the water changed. Apparently swimming in gold first thing in the morning is pretty cool too.