I think before I get stuck into my first blog I should introduce myself. My name is Lowri Tynan, I’m a former International swimmer from North Wales. I joined a swimming club aged 6, represented Wales at 3 Commonwealth Games, and Great Britain at a World Championships and a European Short Course. My swimming career ended with a very disappointing Olympic Trials at the London Aquatic Centre, having not achieved my lifetime goal of representing GB at an Olympic Games.

I walked out of that pool and genuinely didn’t get back in. Having trained in the pool for almost 20 years I cut it out, cold turkey. When it comes to retirement there are so many rumours on the best way to go about it, cold turkey apparently is not one of those suggested options. Most people seem to think that you should wean yourself off, and continue training before finally stopping. After my complete disappointment I was mentally and physically done, and at the time, couldn’t face getting back in the pool, some of that due to embarrassment.

So now you find me, a swimmer, who’s worked in the real world for some time now and dealing with an un-athletic body, an unhealthy lifestyle and struggling to find an activity I loved as much as swimming. I’ve tried to do the gym and attend some classes, but without the plans and goals of my previous life I find it really hard to motivate myself. So back to the pool is my plan and this is where you find me, realising that I may have a slight obsession about kit!

It seems after all the years of training that I’m picky about everything! For example my kit bag, I hate ones that just tie at the top, a kit bag for me needs to attach top and bottom. If you’re traveling the world swimming you don’t want a kit bag that drags along the floor. The same goes for trying to get it dry, you need a bag that hangs well enough to dry, and soggy kit is just gross.

Hanging Kit Bag

I’ve been attached to a kick board that I did my best 100 kick times with, or a pull buoy that caused minimal chaffing. I mean these are all extremely important right? You’re in the pool for hours and these accessories give your training sets variety. Fins too, when you find the pair that feels good, don’t rub or cause cramp, they’re keepers!!!

It seems my obsession extends as far as my drinks bottle! Unless the bottle is a litre I’m not interested, and I need to be able to see the measurements in it too. I’m not sure if other people are the same, but when I’m swimming I need more flavour than water, and I know exactly what measurement of juice I need for a litre, so I get annoyed if I’m having to guess.

Once you’ve found your perfect kit, it’s hard to let it go. I was part of a big swim team in Loughborough, well I was part of the Intensive Training Centre at the time, but the University squad there was huge. Sometimes when the students where short they’d go kit bag raiding so you would be in a constant war holding onto your hard found kit, which made you all the more protective over it.

So I’ll leave this blog for now, hoping that I’m not the only swimmer in the world that is this crazy about their kit, and also wondering if you can show up to public swimming with this much kit…?

A Slight Kit Obsession: September 6th, 2017 by Lowri Tynan