It is no secret that I struggle in the pool, I have written about it many times. In fact I think KB took me out of the pool for a while just to stop my constant complaining about how badly I swim! This week however I had not one, but two swim workouts. I think this is because of my bad ankle/heal. While I’m stuck in a walking boot most of the time I did get permission from Doc to swim as long as I don’t kick. So yesterday I hit my local pool and did my usual; hope and pray that it would be a good swim day, struggle through the workout and leave the pool completely frustrated and down. Today however was a little different. Ok, a lot different!
Going to swim with MK, aka “The Shark”, means getting out of bed about 4:30am, which is initially painful, but always worth it. It really wasn’t that bad today; in fact I woke up a little excited about the workout and getting to spent time with my friend. I made the 45 minute drive to The Shark’s gym and hit the pool. The Shark was already in the pool doing “sharky” things like swimming laps effortlessly <insert total jealousy here> . As I’m watching I kept thinking “why can’t I do that?” And trying to stay positive I answered my own question with “you can do that” followed with something like, “do you remember yesterday?”
My internal argument was cut short when The Shark came up and we started our normal joking around. Once we got through the initial jokes and pleasantries we did a lap and she gave me some pointers. She also explained the pull buoy. My initial reaction to this little foam contraption…not a fan! I had a hard time with my overall body control which made my breathing even more complicated than normal.
The Shark gave me some more pointers, which resulted in a "penalty" for her because she stopped her workout to help me. I felt a little bad about that, but I also participated in her penalty, things called push outs. The Shark is not a fan of them, but I think I am. The Shark may disagree, but I think the penalty was totally worth it, in the 10 minutes she spent with me she corrected a variety of things and as if someone flipped on a switch…I had it! Sort of! Kind of! I went from struggling to do one lap to doing 2 as if it was nothing (yes I know, to most people that is nothing…don’t rain on my parade!)
My workout was pretty straight forward, swim two laps, and then take a 2 minute break. Normally I need a break because I’m sucking wind and feel like I might pass out! With the corrections The Shark gave me I had better mechanics in the water, I wasn’t working nearly as hard. I found a rhythm and the two minute break started to make me insane, so I cut it to one minute and then did the last 4 laps without a break. It was amazing! In fact I’ll say that today was the best day I’ve had so far in regards to noticeable improvement. I felt so much better, calm, relaxed and fluid.
I’ve been in martial arts long enough to know that proper technique is everything! And while I have been trying to use good technique in the pool, it took someone else watching to really point out the things I was doing wrong. Now I’m not willing to say that I’m a “good” swimmer, but today I’m a better swimmer than I was yesterday! Yesterday swim workouts made me a little nervous but sitting here now, writing this, I can’t wait to get back in the water. I still have a lot of things to learn and I’m sure I’m still doing things wrong, but I’m going to enjoy today’s victory and look forward to spending more time in the pool. Between The Shark and KB, I just might move up from guppy to something like a maybe a blue gill or maybe even something a little bigger…with teeth!