Saturday, September 15, 2007

Swimming lessons

I had the first of this exciting new round of swimming lessons this afternoon. This is going to be great...

I started swimming in January. I had a stress fracture and couldn't run, and approached the problem of swimming with grim determination. (Could hardly swim more than a couple lengths without having to stop and rest. The horribleness of entry into the world of swimming pools is not to be underrated--pool etiquette, grungy showers and locker rooms, terribly crowded and inconveniently short pool hours, fitness completely not translating from other activities...) Had a few lessons with various people at CU, but it was impossible to schedule, and variable-quality teaching.

Meanwhile I was doing deep-water running with Doug Stern, and as soon as I met him it was clear to me that I had found my perfect triathlon-oriented swimming teacher. I took his level one and level two clinics starting in March or so (each six or seven weeks), slow steady improvement over both (but Doug died!) but perhaps with steadier improvement on conditioning than technique. Now I do Monday-night swimming through Doug's old group, and for some reason just in the last 6 weeks or so it seems to me that my technique has startlingly improved--this is good....

But I have to learn to do those other strokes!

This teacher did the level II clinic in May, filling in for Doug because he was sick, and she's fantastic. A really first-rate swimmer and triathlete, and a fabulous teacher. She had me do some lengths of the various strokes, including some video (partly so we can look at a before-and-after some weeks from now), and then we just dug in and started working properly on breaststroke. The kick's good, no problem there, for no reason at all I have very flexible ankles in both directions; the timing on breath-scull-etc. is off, though...

And I did some dolphin kicks, kind of...

(My vestigial backstroke is the very flat one I guess I kind of learned in about 1976...)

(I am going to be excited to learn butterfly!)

(But it seems to me that in a couple weeks I will actually be swimming a more or less just about adequate version of breaststroke, this is good--that was why we were working on it first...)

Also to work on, though we didn't have time today: a faster open turn, for immediate use, and some drills to get to having a decent flip turn. I spent a lot of time practicing a flip turn in February before I was really having good lessons, but it was time wasted, I fear, I never learned to do it right. But you lose so much time not doing turns that way, I must get it working as soon as I can!

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Sounds like excellent progress to me! The video will bowl you over.

Jenny Davidson said...

Really I always prefer--there is a line of Paradise Lost that puts it best, can't remember the exact words...--to think that I have always been exactly as I am at whatever the present moment is, so I am not POSITIVE that I like the video thing--but yes, of course this is quite right...

Wendy said...

But your analytical self will love it!