Swimming Lesson #2

I went back to Swish for my second lesson. After the first one, my neck had been sore from pulling my head out of the water to breathe, and I was utterly exhausted. Similar today.
I’ve made progress. Last time round I seemed to spend most of my time figuring out how and when to breathe (clue: it’s not helping if you inhale underwater) and I still had a lot of that today, but I’ve been swallowing less water and relaxing (slightly). Since my default setting for anything is to be as tensely coiled as possible, that may not be saying much. But it’s a start.

I keep forgetting not to close my eyes when I go underwater, and although I can swim most of the length of the pool without coming up for air, when I do breathe it’s usually a very small, pathetic gulp; I’ve yet to figure out how to maintain a good breathing rhythm for any length of time.

But as I lowered my head beneath the water and slowly bubbled the air out of my lungs, I realised how calm and peaceful it was, there below the surface.

I did 40 minutes today, and after that I was again a broken man, fit only for the taxi home and lying on the sofa, then being screamed at by Destroyer at bedtime for an hour.

Things to remember for next time round: thinking about blowing bubbles out of your nose is too much work and too fast; humming, which I always thought of as something you did with your mouth, allows a more gradual flow of air out of your lungs. And it’s easier to breathe in if your mouth is wide open and your tongue isn’t pulled back in your mouth. So much to think of… What will happen when I try using my arms as well?

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