Swimming. Since 1996 Swimming has been one of my major freetime pastimes. Something weight bearing that uses all the body in harmony, and as Ive progressed and gained skill uses breath too. Coupled with the sauna relax there cant be a better way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as my main competitive sport is Orienteering the Scandanavian lifestyle figures heavily for me. An indulgent post that contains some links to interesting sites celebrating the swimming culture of U.K. Living in London in the late 90s and working in the west end meant my pre-work daytimes allowed gym-swim-sauna at the Marshall st Soho Pool pictured above. This is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture which did close in the 2000’s due the costs of running for the Council. For years it lay empty like the places on the links, threatened with demolition- however it was saved by concerned parties and now operates again. Treasures of U.K like this need celebrating as they provide a location for activity across the ages and years. I completed my first mile swim at Marshall st. happy days. Going to Australia in 98 meant I could discover loads of outdoor pools or as we call them Lidos. and the expert swimmers who used them were people I could imagine emulating then, smooth lapping with tumble turns and never stopping! If you swim front crawl then youll know that the constant bilateral breathing takes time to make natural. During all the 2000’s Ive maintained a swim sauna leisure life around the U.K and I guess this is celebration of current local pool at Stokewood. Pictures below by me- I asked for old pictures but the managers dont have any. Again you can see how theres a similarity between this and Marshall st. super 22 yard Pool. After years of practice I can now continually front crawl with smooth breathing and tumble turning, after a warm up theres something so satisfying about swimming. Perfecting that stroke, means incremental improvements, the catch, the kick and always co-ordinating the breath. Very centered and meditative. Could be seen as boring doing laps but that single pointedness of activity is perfect for me. We are lucky to have several pools in Bournemouth this being my favourite, long may it be available for our use. The link here takes you into a photo project about U.K pools, click the images button to view – this shows the places many of which are still closed. I hope you enjoy this post and even more- your own and families swimming.