… that there is a way to get some kind of stroke rhythm in the water.

It came to me earlier this week when Sofie and I met for a morning session at Sea Point pool, and I was trying to get my head around relaxing and breathing and focusing on my stroke and and and…

And then I remembered what helps me cope with hills whenever I cycle or run.

When I started training for Two Oceans earlier this year, I’d often struggle with my MP3 player’s ear buds slipping out of my ears from all the sweat.  And while I had some songs playing in my head, I found that nursery rhymes and some of my kids’ stories helped me focus!

My favourite is one of my children’s most loved books: a piece of kiddie crime fiction called…



So after an excellent trial run in the pool, I tested my theory at Clifton last night, where I swam with the rest of my Embark training group.

Despite getting terribly sea sick from the minuscule swell and watching the sea floor move with each rise and fall of the water (will take some motion sickness pills next week), I recited What The Ladybird Heard over and over while looking straight down and focusing on my stroke.  And it worked!

In fact, it worked so well that I followed Sofie and the rest of the group out to a yacht that had dropped anchor further out, and (almost) swam around it.

Here’s how I do it:


Swimming has become my new favourite sport. Now… if I can only get a little faster.