LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s like That...When everything doesn’t always go swimmingly down at the pool

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On paper, swimming doesn’t make much sense.

No matter how far you swim you end up where you started – back in the changing rooms with their pound-gobbling lockers.

The showers throw temperature tantrums and always know just when to turn off – leaving you fumbling around blindly for the button with a head full of shampoo. While the curtains covering the booths are always a slither too short of the gap they are supposed to cover – leaving you to do the funny towel dance to cover your modesty as you change.

And all this faff is before you have even got near the water, which is where the fun really starts.

I suffer from pool rage. What can I say?

Something about being stuck behind a pool-block of people trying not to get their hair wet or being dive-bombed by children just really gets my goat.

I suppose part of the problem comes from the fact I go to the pool to unwind. I just want to get in, swim my lengths, wash off the stress and go.

So I don’t understand why people insist on standing at the end when they are done for a good old chinwag, I find I can talk about last night’s television or the neighbour’s annoying cat just as well on dry land, so why can’t they?

But when swimming is good, it is brilliant! We all know exercise is a great way to relieve pent-up energy but I am not built for the likes of running. I don’t want to go into details, but let’s just say – until they create an all-over-support-bra, it’s not for me, too much of me wobbles.

However, put me in the water and I am a force to be reckoned with.

I started at a young age and, well, took to it like a bee to a honey pot. This is just as well because this coming weekend I am going to need everything I have got.

I’m taking the plunge and swimming 100 lengths (2.5km) in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, a fantastic charity which does brilliant work helping people cope with terminal diseases.

I’ve been building up my distance for a while now, but I plan to save doing the whole 100 lengths until the big day.

I knew it was a long way but it didn’t sunk in until I started collecting sponsorship money and a ‘friend’ of mine asked – “If you drown on the 99th length do we get our money back?”