Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

I'm writing this post incredibly exhausted. Tuesdays have become my "dreaded" day at work due to various tasks I have to perform that I don't enjoy, and other looming deadlines. But Tuesdays are also becoming one of my favorite days because I've taken on a part-time. I'm not getting paid an economic incentive, but it has been well worth it. I'm trying to train my friends to get ready for a triathalon. Sure, they have the biking and running parts down, but swimming - that's another story.

Having been a swimmer all my life, I forgot how difficult the sport could be to learn as an adult. I guess most things are harder to learn as adults actually. Think about learning a language - kids pick up languages far faster than most adults. I think swimming is the same.

A couple weeks ago we had our first lesson and I assessed the skills of my new students. They weren't hopeless, but after a few strokes ended in my friend swallowing half the pool water, I knew we had a long road ahead of us. They were overwhelmed by all the moving parts required in swimming. They were, understandably, overthinking it.

So we went back to basics tonight. Body position in the water, followed by drill after drill after drill. And just like that, they were able to swim a lap. Well, almost a full lap. Not only did they look better, they promised that it felt easier. And, while swimming is a sport, and requires skills and athletic ability, it should also have a naturalness to it.

I could tell they were struggling against the water during some of the drills, as they willed their bodies to stay afloat. But we're all naturally buoyant. It takes some people a little longer to float along the top, but if you have faith in the water, and yourself....you'll rise to the top.

And just keep swimming.

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