I SURVIVED MY FIRST WEEK!
When I showed up for my first swimming lesson this week, I was totally a non-swimmer. Although I could make myself float for a short time, all I knew was to kick my feet and move in the water for at least three feet and then sink. My husband is a good swimmer. He is like a dolphin in the water, but no matter how much he tried to teach me how to swim, I remained a hopeless case. So, when I introduced myself to my swimming instructor at our first meeting, I could not help myself to ask the question, “Am I going to make it?”
Thankfully, our instructor, although very rigid in his teaching style, he has also very relaxed personality. Understanding that anxiety can be inherent among his learners, he makes sure that we are all comfortable with our arms/legs strokes before testing our skills. Likewise, my three classmates are a joy to have in the class. Although all we know about each other is our name, we are definitely good friends in the water. We work as a team: supporting and cheering one another every time we accomplish something – big or small.
THIS WEEK’S LESSONS:
Side Stroke – is moving the hands on the side alternately, pulling the water with arms and stopping in the middle, and then pushing the most water when moving away from the location. The arms stroke is synchronized with the legs performing a scissor kick. (Swimming Stroke, Wikipedia)
Free Style (Breast Stroke) – is performed with face down in the water without moving the hands. They stay in the water and move at the same time, while the legs continue to perform a frog-like kick. The head may be submerged in the water. You can breathe out while you are in the water and can come up in time to breathe in. (Swimming Stroke, Wikipedia)
I was so sore after my first two days of swimming. It takes a lot of energy for me, but as I made progress in the drills my stamina improves as well. But don’t take me wrong, I am still gasping for air every time I get out of the water. I guess, it takes sometime.
FEW INSIGHTS ABOUT THIS WEEK’S LESSONS:
1. Relaxation is the key to holding ones breath longer in the water
According to Buzzle.com, our bodies feel stress when we encounter some demanding or uncomfortable situation. Although to a certain limit it can bring out the best in us, sometimes too much stress makes our heart beats unusually fast causing palpitation and breathlessness. Since swimming is a rigorous activity that requires a lot of holding your breath in the water, it helps not to overthink it excessively. Just enjoy the process!
2. Pointing your toes when kicking helps you to move faster
This is the first swimming gem I received from my instructor when he saw me not moving in the water despite my deliberate kicking. Swimcity.com explains that “plantar flexing” is to point our toes by contracting all the muscles that run up the back of the lower leg – the toes, the arch and the calf. As a result, the top of our foot flattens exposing to more water when we kick in the forceful manner. This is said to be advantageous since more propulsion helps us to move forwards.
3. If you can believe it, you can be it. (Trite expression and said many times but sooooooo true)
When I began my lesson, all I can I managed was three feet swim, and that means holding my breath for the entire duration without suffocating myself. I still can’t swim the whole length of the swimming pool, but I can already go halfway without drowning. I can float! I can jump off the pool’s edge in deep water that is over my head, pop up like a cork and swim swim swim! Finally, I can go down the Giant Slide fearlessly again, and again, and again (to my husband’s dismay). Remarkably, just a week ago I could not swim, but now look at me -miracles do happen to those who have faith!
Thanks to the following references: