In a ritual that dates back many a year,
I remove shoes, socks, trousers and shirt;
In that order and bag them with care.
I walk awkwardly through to the shower,
Across the wet floor that just feels so dirty;
Around me the white ceramic tiles tower.
I wash off the dirt on my way through cold air,
Out through the archway and on to parade
In my skin to the others, half hidden there.
I brace myself and throw my body in,
It feels warmer than I had expected
As I find a lane, kick off and begin.
I look around and feel out of place,
And everyone else seems twice my age;
I ignore and avoid eyeing anyone's face.
I struggle with stamina and often rest:
I know I am unfit but it still annoys,
As the youngest I should be the best.
There are lots of women going up and down,
And a few men vigorously with speed;
I battle on, often fearing that I might drown.
I am proud, and in an hour swam a kilometre,
Which at times I thought I wouldn't achieve
But you just have not to let those fast old folk deter y'.
I climbed out, showered off and dried:
I found it all quite fun,
I ate some fruit as I walked into town,
Day two has just begun
But at least I have day one down.