My Naked Lunch moment…
Tonight I went swimming in my new wetsuit for the first time…and for the first time in Cambridge’s rather strange outdoor 100 yard long Lido. As was always going to happen I started off too fast and was slowing up halfway down the second length (second 100yrd remember) but it wasn’t so much that I was running out of energy, more that I felt like my new wetsuit was trying to kill me!
By the end of the second length (and as in the indoor 25M pool I was doing sets of 200m) I really felt like the suit was moving around and really pulling against the front of my neck on my throat. When I brought the suit last Saturday there had been someone in the shop to help and advise me when putting it on and it had felt fine. The shop also had an endless indoor pool so I was able to try swimming in it and did do for around 5 minutes with no problems at all. And yet, with every stroke down that second length I felt like the suit was trying to strangle me.
At the end of that length I stopped the time on my watch and set about tweaking things to see if I could get the suit to fit better. As I was on my own I’d had no help putting the wetsuit on, but I’d had a quick practice at home the night before to see if I could manage it and it seemed fine…the one thing I was worried about was doing the zip up but by arching my back and pushing my shoulder blades together I seemed to manage it fine.
I swam another couple of lengths and things we’re a little better but still not great, certainly not good enough to be able to swim a mile in without stopping. After each pair of lengths I’d try another tweak here or there and by the time I’d finished I think I’d got things pretty well settled down, but it’s safe to say that tonights session was a whole bag of no fun.
Getting changed afterwards I had what David Baddiel described during his and Robert Newman‘s Wembley gig as a Naked Lunch moment. The example, if memory serves, he gave that night was a male ballet dancer. “I’m on stage, in front of loads of strangers, wearing nothing but tights, my packet’s showing…what the fuck am I doing?!? Oh, I’m a ballet dancer, that’s OK then”.
For me it was more along the lines of, my new ‘gadget’ has just tried to kill me, I’m knackered, I’m stood on a cold, wet, concrete floor, in a small wooden cabin, it’s pissing it down with rainy and I’ve still got to cycle home…and keep doing this for another 4 months. What the fuck am I doing?!?”. I then continued to get changed and put my trousers on…and realised I was wearing an old pair of trousers that by now probably have getting on for a four inch gap between my stomach and the trousers. “Oh yeah”, I thought, “I’m, losing a fuck load of weight…that’s OK then!”
To relax myself after I’d then cycled home in the rain I went for a quick 10 minute run on the treadmill, and if I’ve chosen to go for a run to relax you know things must be bad!