I’VE been an early-morning swimmer since leaving university. When I was still a student, I didn’t know there was such a thing as early morning, obviously.
While I was still working, this involved getting up at some ungodly hour and flinging myself into the deep end of the pool at the precise moment when more restrained colleagues were just poking a tentative toe out from under the duvet.
Since being a retired bloke (and taking advantage of the Welsh Government’s scheme of free swimming for the over 60s), I don’t submerge until 8am.
That’s still reasonably early, but there are plenty of fellow retirees splashing in at that time with me. The keener among us have even been known to form an orderly queue at the poolside while we wait for the free swimming session to begin.
I have given us the resonant title of The Retired Gentlemen’s Swimming Club. Though probably regrettably few of us would qualify as gentlemen.
And with abilities ranging from the pretty average to the downright shocking, describing our morning exercise as “swimming” is probably taking a bit of a liberty too. Still, enthusiasm makes up for expertise.
Put a bunch of retired blokes together in a confined space and things happen. Conversation breaks out. Hence, the RGSC has a lively shower debating society.
Recent topics have included winning the Euro Lottery; the meaning of a piss-pot jerker; sun dried mushrooms as a source of Vitamin D; Descartes, Newton and infinity; and whether there is ever an excuse for missing a penalty.
Views are exchanged. Unexpected prejudices are laid bare – literally, until the shampoo and conditioner have been sluiced away.