I Am Not Impressed, I Am Seriously Not Impressed…….

I suppose it had to happen, it was inevitable and it was only a matter of time – but even though the fact that it was on its way was virtually plastered over the perimeter wall in fluorescent lights with fireworks for extra effect, I am not impressed, I am seriously not impressed.


Last week the small man in my life had a cold and he oh so generously passed it onto himself.


At this point there was a massive exacerbation in the seriousness of the condition and it rapidly deteriorated to man flu before becoming a combination of pneumonia, pleurisy, appendicitis, period pains and a broken toe nail.

Anyway, after a couple of days a recovery was achieved without too many complications.

Then last night it started with me. Yeap, first off the tickle throat, then the nose and finally the sneezing.

It was at this point that himself realised he was in trouble.

He tried to blame the small man but that didn’t work, himself was solely responsible.

Anyway, you will be pleased to hear that in my case the cold has reverted back to its normal form and has not gone to its presentation with himself of a life-threatening, potentially fatal and long term debilitating condition. Instead it is just a normal cold – phew now that’s a relief.


Now my ire towards himself was escalated to a higher level this morning as today is a swim training day and as I got ready this morning to plunge myself into The Lagoon Pool I was a tad concerned that breathing could be even more of an issue than usual with a bunged up nose.

Anyway, I was determined I was going to swim, I was not going to let a little sniffle stop me and so I spent a while watching YouTube videos about backstroke. I had been thinking recently how I ought to get to grips with backstroke before I throw myself into Lake Windermere in a couple of weeks time, so today could be my chance. I had not seriously attempted back stroke for more years than I care to remember. I have memories of sinking bottom first during school swimming lessons and I made a conscious decision aged around 8 that I would never attempt to throw my arms round again in order to propel myself along on my back in an attempted swimming fashion.

That was until today.

So, sitting in front of my laptop I watched some back stroke videos and spent some time throwing my arms up in the air in a random fashion in a reverse fashion. A glass of water, two lego models and the paperwork for the tax returns were the casualties of this research but it was worth it as after half an hour of viewing and 10 minutes of clearing up afterwards I had a reasonably good grip on back stroke – should it be needed.

The first few lengths of the pool proved beyond a doubt that actually swimming front crawl with a bunged up nose is not a good idea. I needn’t have actually bothered with my nose clip.

So, off I went with back stroke.


Now it is at this point that I started to realise how doing back stroke actually uses the various muscle groups of the shoulder in a completely different way to front crawl.

So, on the one hand breathes a whole lot easier, but on the other hand, cor blimey – shoulders!

So, I followed my new found YouTube knowledge to the letter, one arm at a time, thumb out, pinky finger in, (no comments thanks), don’t have a sinking bottom, legs straight.

I have to admit that it was a bit of a juggling act at first getting everything in the right order, but I am pleased to say I got there.

Yes, there were a few directional incidents involving big circles but hey, the eyes in the back of my head only operate in the presence of either of our off spring.


So, here I was ploughing up and down the pool concentrating hard on my arms, my bottom and yes, my nose.

Now as I have already alluded to I very quickly learnt how swimming back stroke is a completely different experience than front crawl with regards to muscles and by now my arms and shoulders were starting to scream out in pain.

Being a bit daft I carried on, the pain and screaming got louder.

I carried on.

About at this point a comment off one of the YouTube videos sprung into my mind like Zebedee on a trampoline – the comment that said that back stroke is exactly the opposite of front crawl in terms of hand position.

So, at this point in my absolute wisdom, despite the screaming coming from my arms and shoulders, I thought – hey, I bet it would be good to use my training paddles in back stroke.

OMG! The pain! The agony!

The verdict? Yes, you CAN use the paddles for back stroke, they work and yes they are just as effective. But you need to have a large whisky and a pain numbing injection in each shoulder first.

Blimey – that is hard work and being the stubborn and cantankerous so and so that I am I would not quit.


Now, with my concentrating on technique today my brain power could not stretch to counting lengths so I honestly have no idea how far I swum but it was at least a mile.

I have to say now that any whinging and moaning that the readers of the EIOT blog may have endured in the past about aching shoulders is nothing compared to what I could produce at this moment in time.

The fatigue in my shoulders is like nothing I have ever suffered before. Shoulders:Burning

Regular readers may well recall me whinging about carrying a 2 litre bottle of milk after a swim training session a few weeks ago and how I had to resort to hanging it from the brake lever on my bike. Well, I can tell you that if we need any milk today it ain’t me going to fetch it!


Anyway, I am on it, not only is front crawl a standard part of my swim training programme, but back stroke is now as well – hurrah!

I think my shoulder’s quest for world domination as they develop to a size that Charles Atlas would be proud of has been speeded up and intensified with the inclusion of back stroke.


Right, the clock is ticking till tomorrow evening when the Strawberry Blond Hand Grenade arrives back and the small man has a few days off school as of today for ‘half-term’ – so all change here as this time next week we will all be in holiday and Sainsbury’s delivery mood as we get ready to head to the airport.

So, normal routine is now well and truly out of the window – stand by for an OCD type meltdown.


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