Thursday, September 20, 2012

Goal #27: Laps

I may not be awesome at swimming, but I learned a whole lot tonight about how to swim a freestyle stroke. My friend Alex taught me and she is an amazing teacher. In just an hour and a half I learned what I had been doing wrong (oh and clearly, we both look dorky in this photo. Swimming isn't necessarily a pretty sport when you're not swimming).

Who knew flippers were so useful? I never really understood the point of flippers until tonight. They really do help you swim more smoothly so you can focus on arm strokes and breathing and not so much on what your feet are doing. I might have to get me some. I definitely need to get me some goggles. She gave me some good tips.

I met Alex several years ago when I was working at Sur la Table as a culinary assistant. Her friend Melanie was the manager of the store and Alex came over one night after class as we were cleaning up and I introduced her to some of my friends and we just kind of became friendly from then on out. I don't see her that often, but when I do it's always a delight. She's way into triathlons and so I thought I'd ask her to help me with this goal. She watched me swim and was able to point out some of the things that are a challenge for me:

1. keeping my head down when I turn to breathe. I always want to lift it up first.
2. I have a problem keeping my whole body at a high level in the water. My body seems to want me to drown.
3. I need to take deeper breaths when I do breathe.

Anyway, I was surprised at how much fun it was once I got the hang of it. I definitely need to go out again. What I need is a free indoor pool so I can make a habit of it and get some exercise when it's too cold to take my bike out. Or I could join a gym. Sigh.

1 comment:

dre said...

I'm sad I didn't get to help you learn how to swim better. But you are definitely in good hands with Alex!

If your body is sinking, it is most likely because of your head placement. Try looking at the ground more. Or try to keep the water level to trace the line on your forehead where your cap is. When you stop fighting for air, it gets much easier. When you swim you should imagine your body is on an axis, so you can only rotate and stay streamline.

Once you get the hang of the axis, start focusing on completing your breath before your arm completes rotation. Your body will turn-breath-arm exits the water-arm enters the water.

Another trick to help you focus on arm technique is getting a floaty for your legs. You can buy them or sometimes I use the "Water Aerobics Arm Weights." If you put it between your thighs it will keep your legs afloat, and you can work just arms.

Darn it, I wish I was there to help! Keep it up, that's the best way to get good at it.