Why I love to . . . swim at sunrise
Áine de Paor on the delights of challenging your body and filling your soul before breakfast
Áine de Paor enjoys her morning swim.
When I was a teenager in Dublin, I was terrified of all things exercise related. It wasn’t until I lived in Japan in my 20s and ended up on a daily ventilator that I discovered I had always been asthmatic. Now in my 50s, I call Australia home, and I have learned to live with my asthma. There’s no escape from the outdoors here and there is an omnipresent consciousness about one’s physical fitness.
In my 40s, as a Bondi resident, I became a “Bondi Iceberg” which entailed a serious commitment to winter swimming in the local seawater pool. For a woman, who could initially barely make it across the 50m pool to swimming 1km a day (year-round, mind you) without it knocking a feather out of me is quite a feat, if I do say so myself.
Now, three days a week I train with Andrew, a very understanding group fitness guru, who understands the limitations that a woman in her mid-50s might experience but who keeps me on my toes. Afterwards, I have a gentle swim at Clovelly beach as the sun is rising. This all happens before 8am when I head to work having challenged my body and filled my soul. I do a sort of breaststroke unless the water is looking choppy in which case it’s hat, goggles and front crawl.
This summer, while I’m home in Dublin, I look forward to an early morning swim or two at the statue in Dollymount, which will serve as my daily destination.