Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Swimming Teacher is a Tyrant

As most of you know who read my blog regularly I am taking a beginner’s swimming course. I could swim before but never learned the right technique which met all the little grandmother’s would speed by me in the pool.

Anyway I went to the pool last night to practice my breaststroke and the freestyle before my class on Friday night. I swam maybe 3 meters before my swimming teacher comes over and stops me to complain about the way I was kicking. Now I usually need a lap or two before I settle into the right form, so she kind of blew my mind. Now she knows that I am trying really hard to learn the technique that she is teaching us so I guess she decided that she would make me her pet project during her break before her next class started.

Next thing I know she hands me a Styrofoam swimming pad and has me start doing some kicking drills. First the freestyle kick for about 5 minutes, then the breaststroke kick. The latter has always been a problem for me and last night was no exception. So she has me kicking away for a good 10 minutes before the good lord finally showed mercy and her next class showed up.

Now I appreciate the personal training and I know it helped, but somehow I was not in the mood for this last night. I wanted to swim about 1200 meters breaststroke to work the upper body. After all the kicking drills I settled for about 700 meters and went home because I was getting really hungry. The kicking drills expended a lot of energy!

So what is the point of all this whining, there isn’t any, but I feel better thank you. Actually the drills showed me last night that my breaststroke kick is not doing much for me. When I use the Styrofoam pad and kick without any arm movement I do not go forwards at all. Even after 10 minutes I barely made any progress. Teacher said it takes time, but once I can do the kick right I will really notice the difference in my breaststroke swimming.

I have only two things left to say: I hope the freestyle goes better than this and I am glad I have a run on the schedule tonight.

p.s. To be fair to my swim teacher who is so dedicated, I understand now why you enjoy teaching the little kids so much – just get them in the water and they swim – no bad habits to break. Sigh...

Jack - more power to you. I often wonder why the competitive swimmers look like they kick and stroke in slow motion, yet cut through the water so fast. I on the other hand look like a whirling dervish moving at a snail's pace. I guess that's why I stick to running only.

When you find out the secret, let us know!
"no bad habits to break"

'cept the ones they pick up watching mom and dad. Cracks me up.
Hi Jack- just found your blog. I read below you grew up near Utica. I moved around a lot growing up but always between Syracuse and Buffalo (garde school in tiny town outside Syracuse, high school in Canandaigua, buffalo for college, Rochester for work) so I hear ya about the cold and snow. Now I live in NC and its 79 today. 79 in mid-November, crazy.

I'm just recently (2 months) getting back into running after a 2 year hiatus- I'm hoping you will inspire me to keep going ;)
This is nothing over technical, so bear with me, Jacqua-Man. My experience as a swim instructor from waaaay back was that if someone is arching their back even slightly while doing whipkick, the kick becomes very ineffective. Try a pelvic tilt of sorts while you're laying in the water to ensure your body is aligned to propel during the kick. Arching somewhat is inevitable. Also, sometimes its easier to build up the whipkick on your back first, like doing elementary backstroke, and then flip it over.

You're my hero! Keep at it!
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