Northbridge Baths

Do you remember my friend, Mr Competitive?  Well he surfaces again because a couple of days ago he frantically phoned and asked if the little guy and I were available for a spot of swimming.

Entrance (could be improved!)

Entrance (could be improved!)

And I was highly suspicious.  Because Mr Competitive runs a swimming club and I just knew he didn’t have anything in mind like floating around on a couple of lilos.

A beautiful community pool.

A beautiful community pool.

The situation was that there was a carnival coming up at Northbridge Baths where his club would be competing against two other clubs.  He had some spots that needed filling and could we fill the gaps.  ‘And don’t worry, Charlie, I won’t make you swim in as many races as last time‘.

BBQ and picnic areas

BBQ and picnic areas


What did I have planned for my Sunday?  A pedicure and some overdue waxing.  I guess I could push those necessities into the coming week and help out Mr Competitive by swimming with ugly toenails and hairy legs.

Northbridge Baths

Northbridge Baths

So Alfie and I kitted up and off we went to Northbridge Baths.

I hadn’t swum at Northbridge Baths since I was a teenager.  The high school I attended used to send us there for a week every December for a week of lifesaving skills.  Best week of the school year!

Northbridge Baths

Northbridge Baths

Known as ‘one of the hidden jewels of the North Shore’, the baths have been an icon for the suburb since they opened in 1924.  The baths are situated in the quiet and leafy suburb of Northbridge which is on Middle Harbour.  This is a harbour pool and due to the protection of the bay, the water is calm.

50-metres is further than you think.

50-metres is further than you think.

While the weather for the carnival wasn’t sunny, it was at least a warm day and the water temperature is currently at the highest it will be all year.

Getting ready

Getting ready

I didn’t have a copy of the program and so it was a mystery as to what events Mr Competitive had entered me in.  Alfie didn’t have much time to hang around as his first race was almost the first race of the carnival.  He swam his 50mtrs freestyle and won his race and was presented with a ribbon.

On the starting blocks

On the starting blocks

Then Mr Competitive told me to ‘suit up’ as my race was very soon.  What is it?

‘Fifty free in the 30-39 age group’.

‘That’s nice but that’s not my age group’.

Getting off to a good start.

Getting off to a good start.

‘Doesn’t matter.  You can swim down but you can’t swim up’.  Excellent.  Racing against people at least a decade younger.  And, when I was heading for the starting blocks, someone said to me, ‘See that woman over there?  She’s in your race.  Really swim-fit; just swam the English Channel’.

Is there any hope?

Just finished the 50-breaststroke

Just finished the 50-breaststroke

Well, stranger things have happened.  I actually won the race.  (But not in any way does that mean I’m ready or wanting, to take on the English Channel).

Where's your happy face?

Where’s your happy face?

Then there was a relay involving a team of 16 to swim where everyone swims 50mtrs.  As I stood on the blocks Mr Competitive said to me, ‘Leave nothing in the tank; there’s a trophy at stake’.  Well, no pressure, so I did my bit in the race and our team won, securing a beautiful trophy for the clubhouse.

The coveted trophy and the shields

The coveted trophy and the shields

Then Alfie swam the 50-breaststroke and he won his race.  I found myself entered in the breaststroke event as well but this time in the 40-49 age group.  I won my event.

Alfie then swam 50-butterfly and won his race.  I was then marshalled to swim 50-butterfly and was horrified as it’s a stroke I can only just do and I do it very, very slowly.  On the starting blocks Mr Competitive tried to be encouraging and gave me the thumbs-up sign but I shook my head and gave him the thumbs down.  I was last to touch the wall.

Alfie swam 50-backstroke and won his race.  I was hiding as after the butterfly, did not want to swim backstroke.  Fortunately, my name wasn’t on the list for backstroke.

Quiet please - someone is concentrating!

Quiet please – someone is concentrating!

Then came the relays.  First there was an open relay for all ages.  I think there were 10 of us in that race.  By then I was tired and getting cold and I thought that might have been it.  But alas, my name was down for the 30-39 relay and then the 40-49 relay.  Then Alfie was told he was in a relay and as they were one person short, he had to do two laps instead of one.

Relays

Relays

I was really pleased when they announced the last race of the day as I was dreaming of a hot shower.  But then found out I was in it.  I was put in the B-team that consisted of 10 swimmers all on average, slower than those in the A-team.  Despite giving it our all, we came last and when the other teams had finished, we still had two swimmers yet to enter the water.

Getting ready for his next race.

Getting ready for his next race.

In case you’ve lost count, the last time I helped Mr Competitive I ended up in nine events.  Remember that this time he said I wouldn’t have to swim in as many events as last time.  A quick tally will let you know that this time I swam in eight events.  I guess he’s as good as his word!

The club however, didn’t win the event overall; the day was won by the Northbridge Club.  Never mind, we did walk away with one very big trophy.  And Mr Competitive’s club is looking for new members and we were invited to join.  So added to our schedules is now a Saturday morning race day at 9am.

Backstroke flurry

Backstroke flurry

Despite some inner reluctance both Alfie and I enjoyed our day at Northbridge Baths.  We had a celebratory drink back at the clubhouse and enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends.  It’s a very social and extremely friendly club and a little bit of exercise on a Saturday morning certainly won’t do either of us any harm.

Drinkies back at the club house

Drinkies back at the club house

Thanks Mr Competitive for the opportunity!

And now, I’m off for the pedicure and overdue waxing.

Northbridge Baths:  Widgiewa Rd, Northbridge NSW 2063

Comments

  1. Congratulations to you and Alfie on your fine performances. Your friend doesn’t ask for big favours, does he? 🙂

  2. Wow. 🙂 You and Alfie are seriously good sports. 🙂 And amazing swimmers to boot!

  3. Congrats – Charlie and Alfie and enjoy your new swimming club:)

  4. PS: The Northbridge pool is a lovely pool.

  5. Danielle says:

    Charlie and Alfie saved the day, methinks Mr Competitive owes you big time 😉 Congrats on winning all those races!

  6. Congratulations on your wins, especially in the younger age group!! You and Alfie were great contributors to the team. I suspect Mr Competitive will be calling on you again – you just swim too well!

  7. I am totally in awe of you both. I couldn’t manage 2m of butterfly stroke let alone 50m. The only butterfly I’m interested in is a butterfly cupcake 🙂

  8. Congrats on all your wins! Though…now you’ve probably given Mr. Competitive even MORE reason to invite you to the next one…for better or worse!

  9. Wow I am stunned. You and alfie are amazing! And clearly great swimmers. Good on you charlie

  10. Congrats to you and Alfie. I believe Mr. Competitive owes you something for filling in last minute.

  11. OEMGEE – You are a swimming rockstar, Charlie! Clearly, Alfie takes after you! And clearly, Mr Competitive recognized something in Alfie AND you, that y’all didn’t quite recognize! CONGRATS to both of y’all on ALL y’alls wins!

  12. Wow! Well done to you and Alfie. Think I would drown trying to do butterfly!
    I have missed your posts Charlie, hope I haven’t missed out on too much.
    Have a beautiful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  13. You are such a good sport!!! Mr. Competitive sure knew what he was doing when he called on you two 🙂

  14. Congratulations Charlie, that’s fantastic that you won so many of the events even though you were racing against younger people. You must be so proud. It’s nice that you and Alfie have a sport you do together too.

  15. Wow! I thought you looked incredibly fit when I saw you two weeks ago. I’m not one bit surprised that you won nearly every event. Well done! Alfie is such a hero. 🙂

  16. Congratulations to you and Alfie, that’s a lot of wins, Mr. Competitive sure knew what he was doing when he asked you and Alfie to swim for the club. Glad it was a successful and enjoyable day for you both.

  17. Looks like a lovely place to swim but I am tired just reading about all your swimming – well done!

  18. Wowee sportiness really does run in the genes with you two doesn’t it? I’m very impressed!

  19. Congratulations for a well-swam race, both of you. And you should know this makes me miss summer so much!

  20. You always amaze me, is there anything you can’t do lol. Glad the day was enjoyable as well, now with joining the team watch out next year, your club will bring home the trophy for sure, if you can do this well with no training, next year you will leave them in your dust 🙂

  21. G’day and congrats to you and Alfie Charlie! Well done and looks to have been a fun day!
    Cheers! Joanne

  22. Congratulations! Looks like a fun place!

  23. you are insanely fit, i can only barely do 50 freestyle!

  24. You guys are freaking amazing. Good on you, I love that you are so active and hang out with the kids. Thats how it was when I was growing up in the country, Mom and Dad were really involved, but all my city friends never experienced that.
    The baths are gorgeous too, almost makes me want to swim. 🙂

  25. Congratulations on all the wins for both of you! What an exciting day. The English Channel…scary!

  26. Great place for a swim!

  27. Well done you two! How fantastic, especially with no prep at all 🙂 Mr Competitive sure owes you big time. I hope your pool stays nice and warm over the coming cooler weather, my hydro pool has a year round temperature of 35 *C so I’ll think of you in July out in the cold while I’m steeping like a tea bag in my lovely hot pool 🙂 xo

  28. You two are obviously fabulous swimmers. It’s quite an honour to be asked to swim in so many races. I wouldn’t be too happy with the cold and standing around bit though.
    I actually just had a pedicure today too. Got to keep up appearances.

  29. You are so versatile in your talents, Charlie! I don’t know how you find time for events such as this, but I’m glad you do. It’s a great way to keep young and fit! And I love that this has turned into a mother-son activity as well. The Northbridge Baths are impressive. 🙂

  30. I’m officially in awe of you now Charlie – I could probs manage 50 metres at a push, but not without ladylike breaks along the way. You champ!

  31. I lived in Sydney for 14 years and I had never been there… What a shame! It looked like a great day, even though you had to swim all those races 🙂 Liz xx

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