Bitten by the Swimming Bug

So…we’ve had the school swimming carnival and the amateur swim club carnival and this week we’ve had the inter-schools’ zone swimming carnival.

On the edge of Sydney Harbour

On the edge of Sydney Harbour

It was held at my most favourite pool, North Sydney Olympic Pool.  My favourite not only because I used to train there as a child, but because of its unique position on the edge of Sydney Harbour as well as the fact just about every famous Australian swimmer has raced in that pool at one time or another.

Such a beautiful Olympic pool

Such a beautiful Olympic pool

The weather could have been warmer and some sunshine would have been nice but even so, the conditions weren’t too bad.

Luna Park in the distance

Luna Park in the distance

Alfie was a little nervous but very keen to swim.  His first race was the 50 freestyle and he did a PB taking four seconds off his previous best time.  He finished second in his heat but didn’t make the final.

Off to a good start

He’s the one with the ribs

He placed in all his other events but his times weren’t fast enough to qualify for the next round, the Regionals.

Just finished a race

Just finished a race

Alfie wasn’t very happy with how things had gone but realises he did a lot better than he did last year.  He’s also very aware that he’s now competing against other boys doing squads up to 10 times a week.  Rather than feeling discouraged, Alfie wants to up his training.  ‘I need to do more squads, mum’.

With his mates but a few too many ribs are showing

With his mates but a few too many ribs are showing

For the past year Alfie has been doing two afternoon squads a week and recently we increased that to three.  And he wants to do more?

Quiet now

Quiet for the start

He has a friend who is training at a nearby pool three mornings a week.  Before school.  Early.  As in rising at 5.15am and being at the pool at 5.45am.  This boy does three 90-minute squads a week and Alfie wants to join him.

A big finish



I have always wanted one of my three children to be a keen swimmer.  But now that that day has come, I’m wishing it was one of my older children because rising early would have been less taxing on me when I was in my prime.

A stormy day but the show must go on

A stormy day but the show must go on

My sister Katie’s two children do early morning swim squads.  She also has to rise just after five and I can’t let her have all the fun.  So because the little guy is so keen and so wants to improve his swimming, I’ve agreed.  He starts tomorrow morning.

Finishing the breaststroke

Finishing the breaststroke

And what to do while he’s swimming.  I don’t have time to drive home and come back again.  I don’t want to sit in my car for 90-minutes.  I don’t want to drive around looking for cafes that might be open and sell me a double-shot latte.  I’ve enquired about adult squads.  No, they don’t have them but they do have a Masters Club that meets at the pool the same days per week.  Tomorrow I’ll just watch and see what goes on and then decide if I’m up for it.

Marshalling area

Waiting to step onto the blocks

I wonder how long this season will last.

Start of the breaststroke

Start of the breaststroke

And now I’m off to bed.

On the edge of Sydney Harbour

On the edge of Sydney Harbour


  1. Danielle says:

    Well done Alfie at the zone and good on you Charlie for agreeing to take Alfie to those before the crack of dawn squads…hopefully you will be able to get in the pool too and Alfie will certainly appreciate your efforts in years to come.

  2. Good luck to Alfie. I know what you mean about the waiting, I have to wait in my car for two hours on a Saturday afternoon outside Chelsea’s Spanish lesson. The coffee shop works out very expensive, but I’m reading a helluva lot ;p

  3. Now swimming definitely requires commitment! Especially during Winter but the little guy is clearly an athlete! 🙂

  4. How fantastic, great to do a POB and I’m very impressed with his commitment to up his squads. A big commitment for you both! GG

  5. Wow, good for Alfie, wishing him success. You are the best Mum, your 3 kids are so fortunate.

  6. Does getting up early is ever easy? I doubt it would have been any easy. But I am so glad that Alfie has taken to swimming. I wanted my older one to take it up – he is a great swimmer, gobbles up the distance in no time. But he won’t do it. Wish your little champ great success ahead.

  7. That’s great! Maybe not for you so much but it’s so great Alfie is passionate about something at such a young age. I can’t get that kind of fire to burn in any of my children! If he has it then that’s wonderful. You’re a good mum, you’ll find something to keep you busy xx

  8. I know what you mean. By the third child, you don’t have quite the stamina, enthusiasm, etc., as with the older first two. But you are handling it all well and how exciting that Alfie wants to pursue swimming with a passion.

  9. I hope you do Charlie, Masters swimming is amazing training and great fun. Way to go Alfie! x

  10. Dedication, devotion and diligence are 3 words that spring to mind after reading your post, Charlie. Applause, applause for the willingness to arise with the sun? Before the sun? For the sake of your son =)

    P.s. Now I’ve got an idea how you and others in Oz Land can enjoy gourmet goodies whilst remaining slim…Swimming!

  11. I’m impressed with both you and Alfie for considering the early squads! On the plus side, perhaps more swimming will help to boost Alfie’s appetite? 🙂 Congratulations to him on beating some of his best times.

  12. Great job, Alfie.

  13. We didn’t have a nifty pool like this when my kids were young. They did skating and that was early morning too before work and school. I just had to sit there with a book and give the occasional, “Great jump!” I was convinced I was a saint. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how you both get along.

  14. I love that he’s so motivated about improving his skills. Good job mom! 🙂

  15. Oh Charlie I’m not looking forward to before school sport. I’m really hoping Ollie doesn’t want to be a rower! That’s wonderful that he’s so keen to improve though. Go Alfie!

  16. You must love him very much indeed Charlie! Littlej does karate but BigJ thankfully took on that responsibility 🙂 Good for you Alfie, great results with your personal bests and I bet you make regionals next year xo

  17. All the pictures are so nice…best of the luck to Alfie…
    Hope you are having a great week Charlie 🙂

  18. G’day and well done Alfie! Swimming is great exercise and always find it is relaxing mentally! Cheers! Joanne Have a great weekend Charlie!

  19. Little Olympic swimmer in training I say.
    Now if I just had a pool.
    Have a super day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  20. Good on alfie for wanting to improve but oh dear charlie. Those early mornings in winter? Eek

  21. You do have some spectacular swimming pools for training and competitions! I applaud Alfie’s enthusiasm and if he’s really serious about more training it would be hard to discourage. Can you hire someone to take him? LOL! By the way…to me you ARE in your prime. It’s all perspective–believe me. 🙂

  22. Go Alfie, nice to see that he is really keen to up his game and improve. The view from that pool always amazes me, could there possibly be a better public pool with that view?

  23. Oh, and you are still in your prime!

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