Monday 16 January 2017

Brendan O'Connor: It's time to dive in and try to get fit

Published 28/04/2014 | 02:30

Brendan Hyland, Tallaght swimming club, on his way to winning the Men's 200m Butterfly A Final at the 2014 Irish Long Course National Championships
Brendan Hyland, Tallaght swimming club, on his way to winning the Men's 200m Butterfly A Final at the 2014 Irish Long Course National Championships

SO I WENT back to my mentor last week. A few years back, Marie Wade did what no one else had managed all my life and taught me to do a physical activity. I don't do it well, but I do it, and that is better than nothing. And I am even making slow progress. But I felt I was coasting a bit with the swimming, so I decided decisive action was needed. It was time for boot camp-ish.

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I sold it to the family as a holiday and off we went down to Kenmare. If it was one of those high-energy TV shows, it would have been billed as 'Two nights! Four lessons! One sh*t swimmer! Can she take him to the next level? It's luxury hotel swimming bootcamp!'

The torturous nature of the whole boot camp side of it was dissipated somewhat by the fact that when I wasn't in the pool being tortured, I was eating. Breakfast in the Park Hotel in Kenmare is probably intended to set you up for the day, so that you would just have a mild collation at lunchtime while walking 20 miles through the hills, before dining well that evening. Because I would be fresh from the pool and virtuous at breakfast, I would give it a good old go, smug in the knowledge that I had burnt off all the calories already. I would make a pig of myself at lunch again based on a similar rationale – still coasting off the morning swim. And then there would be more swimming before dinner, so I had another free pass.

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