Ploughing up and down the pool today, I tried to distract myself from the sheer misery. After musing on the decadence of a society which requires artificial exercise to keep us fit (i.e. sedentary lives, excessive food, powered transport), I comforted myself with the thought that one day, I'll be able to stop swimming, once I reach a theoretical level of fitness.
That thought kept me going for about 3 metres before I realised that given the rest of my life, I wouldn't actually be stopping other than for Death. Who isn't much good at the backstroke. Then I took to contemplating how many lengths I'd have to complete before I visit the Undiscovered Country (that's Hamlet, folks, and also the subtitle of Star Trek VI, not one I'd recommend).
So here goes. If I stick to my current diet of 50 lengths twice a week for roughly 46 weeks of the year, that's 2300 lengths per year. At a guess, I'll live until 85 unless Grant Shapps and Paul Uppal send the boys round. So that's another 48 years, or 110, 400 lengths to go. Multiply that by 25 to get 2, 760, 000 metres, and divide by 100 to arrive at a grand total of 27,600 kilometres left to swim. By TOUTATIS I want to give up now.
So how long will it take? I'm getting a bit faster, but soon I'll decline into senile decrepitude, so I'm averaging out my speed at 38 minutes per 50 lengths. That's 72 minutes per week or 55 hours twenty minutes per year. So basically I spend over two days per year doing something I entirely detest. Over the rest of my life, I'm going to spend just over 2649 hours or 110 days mindlessly dragging my pasty, bulging carcass up and down through other swimmers' urine in fruitless pursuit of a youth I never actually had.
Still, at least nobody will shout 'you fat bastard' at me on the street anymore.