Keeping Fit When You’re Blind

swimming pool

By Charlotte Bonnie from Jedburgh.                                   

I bounced off something large, squashy and hairy yesterday. In the local swimming pool. No, not an abandoned elastoplast, thank goodness. Someone’s stomach, belonging to a small, round man doing breadths on his back.

It is one way of increasing my circle of acquaintances. But I had no idea where that stomach had been. Did it belong to someone I’d have spoken to if we’d met fully clothed? Mind you, it wasn’t as awful as climbing into someone else’s knickers! On that occasion, I had miscounted the cubicles in the changing area. When it comes to embarrassments at swimming pools, I’ve been there, done that, no longer have the knickers.

swimming pool

Now, I’d imagine any wee wifey of a certain age who presents herself at a sporting establishment and asks if she can participate faces a credibility gap. However, if said wee wifey is waving a white stick or accompanied by a friendly, furry and faithful canine, then you really are putting everyone on the spot. When my eyesight became so bad, I only ventured into the local pool when it was very quiet, one of the lifeguards suggested I should come along to the disabled swimming club. Initially the reaction of some of the members was, “Whit’s that wumman daein here? She can swim fine!” The lady lifeguard pointed out that, although I could swim, I couldn’t see and soon I was accepted. I kept to a lane next the side and whenever any of the other regulars saw me approaching, they just bellowed a warning. So it has continued, Mr. Squashy must  have been a new recruit.

 I recommend doing hand stands down at the deep end, especially combined with somersaults. You may not have a clue which way is up, but, this is one place where it doesn’t matter!  

Charlotte Bonnie is registered blind. 

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