Swimming Lesson #42

It’s weird. I had a solid 9 hours of sleep and yet I still woke up feeling sluggish this morning, and after a day at work I didn’t really feel like any exercise, but I still forced myself to get a taxi to the swimming pool. As I got changed, it began to rain, and suddenly the ache in my sinuses made a certain kind of sense – I had been suffering from rain head, not taxi brain. Later, I would take a bus home, although I got very lost finding the bus stop and so wasted a good 20 minutes.

The lesson was good, although we only had 30 minutes today. I warmed up with a couple of lengths of freestyle kicking, holding onto a pool float with my hands. I now find this tiring, because I don’t want to kick so much. Also, with a week sans any exercise, my legs are starting to seize up and ache constantly. I thought exercise was meant to make you tired, not the absence of it.

Anyway, changing to proper freestyle was a relief and I did a few laps, before we switched to focus on my backstroke. I hadn’t realised one significant problem I have with backstroke is that I lean my head towards my right shoulder, and that’s why I veer across the pool rather than swim in a straight line. There I was thinking it was because my right arm was much stronger than my left. I don’t think either of my arms are really that strong right now.

So we worked to concentrate on fixing that; just like with freestyle, the key is to be able to keep your spine stable, while your torso revolves around it. And while you don’t panic when your face goes underwater. It took me a while, but my backstroke is now a bit more reliable and less of a frantic mess. The frantic mess is always the thing to avoid.

We finished up with some sculling and floating. I wish I was better at floating on my back but I’m much too stiff and tense. Sculling my hands to and fro helps to keep me up, and we began to work on the egg beater kick, where you’re making small kicks to hold yourself level in the pool, rather than propel yourself around. I had variable success with that, then went off to find my way home.

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