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    The 24 Stages Of Taking Up Swimming

    Jump in the pool.

    1. You swam as a kid. Well, you splashed.

    2. And you've swum on holiday.

    3. So how hard can it be to incorporate it into your work-out routine?

    4. You dust off your sports swimsuit.

    5. You grab your swimming hat from the drawer, and head to the pool.

    6. You dip a toe in. It's chillier than you remembered.

    7. You launch yourself in, and hope for the best.

    8. You try and remember your breathing techniques.

    9. You plough on, confidently.

    10. You can't believe how strenuous this is. After ten lengths you're worn out.

    11. You dry off, and are hit by an overpowering hunger.

    12. Followed by total exhaustion.

    13. But eventually you learn to pace yourself.

    14. You make new friends.

    15. And new enemies.

    16. You know that every pool has one of these.


    17. As well as one of these.

    18. You learn not to try anything funny.

    19. You become adept at negotiating lane politics.

    20. You're a pro at hair removal.

    21. And you've tried everything to stop the hair on your head going green.

    22. You have a healthy respect for open-water swimmers.

    23. And maybe one day, you'll join them.

    24. But for now, you know you have all you need right here.