Very different perspectives on swimming

I’ve recently re-started weekly swimming sessions, this time by myself.

I’ve recently re-started weekly swimming sessions, this time by myself rather than with a toddler in tow. But it turns out the two experiences are not so very different:

In both cases, you’re likely to get splashed by those around you - at least with toddlers you can see it coming; fellow-swimmers can be more stealthy in their approach. How is it even possible to splash when swimming breaststroke? I ask you!

Lack of personal space - knees nudging you, feet making their presence felt against your legs, hands grazing against your skin. And that’s just the adults;

Avoiding collisions - you have to have your wits about you in both scenarios. Be it toddlers throwing rubber ducks or adults with no lane discipline, you’ll be needing to move out of the way, at speed;

People taking photographs when they really shouldn’t - at least in the baby pool they have signs up and speak to those who disregard them; last week, two women snapped away in the jacuzzi like they were paparazzi who’d just got the scoop of the century;

There’s never enough space in the changing rooms - that could be because you’re surrounded by parents and their children, which means bags and bags of stuff. Or it could be because there’s only ever a metre of bench per 20 lockers;

Don’t even think about drying your hair – because your toddler hates the sound of the hairdryer almost as much as seeing it anywhere near your head; and because the only time you can go swimming on your own is seemingly the only time all the women of Brighton can go swimming on their own. So you know no hairdryers available.

Of course, I say the two experiences are not so very different. But I do actually get to swim when I go without Tibbons.