Soaking up the knowledge

20/12/2013

Massive apologies for taking so long in between blogs. It’s not that I’ve been lazy.  Well yes it is kind of that.

But more because I’ve been going through a crisis of confidence with my swimming and I was feeling lost.

I began my lessons about this time last year and I really did think that by now I would be happily swimming the Cook Strait.

When I didn’t get it by July I began to appreciate how learning to swim isn’t just a matter of sitting a few tests and passing.

You actually do have to learn and practise swimming and the only place to do that is in the water.

So my lack of progress has been solely because of my inability to get in the water and practise the things I’d learnt from coach Andrew in my lessons.

For the last six months I’ve been having a lesson a week on Tuesdays before work at 7am.  They say early morning is a good time to swim and that chlorine is the breakfast of champions.

Slowly but surely I’ve been improving.

It feels like I have all the individual components down.  The only issue is when I put it all together.  As soon as I add arm strokes, I forget to kick.  If I remember to kick, I forget to breathe.  And then I get tired, panic and stand up.

But the last few couple of months I’ve found I’ve actually had time to practise outside my lessons.  I just go to the gym at the pool and practise kicking and floating and generally having a good time while people around me race up and down doing lengths.

Another cool thing I’ve had added to my lessons is time with Mark Haimona from Water Safety NZ who’s been teaching me basic water survival skills in deep water.  It was the first time I dared to venture in water that was above my head and it was scary at first but I loved it.

I’ve had two sessions with Mark and I realised something important.  When you’re learning to swim one of the first things you need to establish is your relationship with water.  So that you don’t see it as something that will kill you (as I used to) and instead develop a connection with it.

Sounds kind of deep but I’ll expand on that when I understand more.

So now a year after my lessons began, I am actually in a better place.  I know how to swim even I can’t yet practice yet.  I can float on my back, which was the main thing I wanted out of this, and I’ve gone beyond that.

I plan to spend the summer in the water as much as possible so that I’ll be all good by February at least.  Happy holidays and have fun in the water but make sure you do what you ought ta.