Wednesday, 19 May 2010

This is more like it...

Oh happy day - the sun is out, and the water is warming up even as I type. I went to Swan Pool on Monday evening and it was just beautiful - gentle evening sunshine on my back, lovely still water, tweeting birds... this is how swimming should be. I was so happy, and felt like I could swim forever. The warm weather's supposed to extend into the weekend, so hopefully I will have a gentler induction into the Dover training weekends than those hardy souls who started at the beginning of May. What a fair weather swimmer I am!

On a very different note, I was interviewed this morning by a features writer who is writing a piece on my Channel swimming research for the Guardian's "Research notes" section. I don't think I did a great job of explaining the project and definitely need to get better at that. But what really took me by surprise was his interest in the whole weight-gain issue - lots of questions about my own (fairly modest) weight gain - how much, what I ate, how I feel about it etc. In one sense, I don't mind talking about it because it's an important part of the process (for me, as a not particularly fast swimmer, anyway), but it's also a bit weird to think about that going into a national newspaper! From a research point of view, it's fascinating to see what captures people's interest and it really makes me realise just how potent the whole issue of body size is in this current fat-phobic moment of anti-obesity obsession, but it's also very strange to me for my own body to be at the centre of these discussions - in my previous research on obesity, I was very much able to set myself outside of these debates. It's an interesting experiment for me - this whole project is such an adventure.

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