Swimming Lesson #15

It feels like it was a very long time since my last swimming lesson: three weeks have passed (although I did have that abortive splash around the hotel pool in KL). As I’ve been doing very little cardio work (climbing is more a strength and intelligence game) I wasn’t sure how I’d do in the pool, but my lungs still work. Now we’re on to refining my freestyle stroke, which is frustrating and enlightening in equal measure.

The big thing we concentrated on today is that I’m not turning my body enough in the water; rather than my torso shifting through 180° around the head-to-foot axis with each stroke, I’m not shifting much away from my chest facing the bottom of the pool.

To concentrate on this, I had a pool float to clasp between my thighs, and just focus on pulling with my arms and trying to turn at the same time. This was pretty hard; every time it felt like I was turning too far, so I’d flip over, even if I wasnt. Ah, the challenge of learning a new thing.

I also really struggled to breathe, or rather I’d be submerged, rotating and gliding forward until I ran out of air and had to surface. Bouyancy is one of those things I struggle with.

I realise that not rotating sufficiently leads to problems elsewhere; rather than just turning my head to the side to breathe, I’m having to move my head up and bend my neck, because I haven’t rotated my body enough. So that’s certainly something to work on, although the other issue I’ve had has not been swimming enough recently. I’m on holiday next week and can hit the hotel pool, if only for a day.

There was also a thunderstorm this evening, so after half an hour we had to flee the pool and get inside. The inside pool is shallower, much warmer and also seems to have a current so it’s easier to swim in one direction than the other. But I suppose you take whatever advantages are offered to you.

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