Fitness: 50 lengths a lunchbreak – secrets of a regular swimmer


A high-speed collision between my shoulder and somebody else’s knee during a tag-rugby match smashed my clavicle and resulted in my arm being put in a sling for three weeks. During the ensuing lay-off – when even the simplest activity, such as dressing, became an epic struggle – I reached an irrevocable conclusion: my days of competitive field sports were over.

This led to an obvious question for someone the wrong side of 40: what activity could I take up to stay in shape? It would have to be injury-free while still presenting a physical challenge, not cost too much and, better still, be something indoors and out of the cold. But, most of all, it had to fit into my family and professional lives.

Joining a gym was the obvious choice but, after a visit to the Markievicz Leisure Centre in Dublin 2, an even better solution presented itself. An instructor there mentioned that the annual membership subscription, a snip at a special rate of €229, also included access to the pool.

Swimming? Now that ticked every box for me. It can be as demanding as you make it, works the entire body and, given my age, is something I could keep up for many years. Best of all, though, I’d hardly be risking a repeat of my broken clavicle experience and the pool was next door to the office so I could swim before work or during my lunch break.

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About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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