In utter state of euphoria now. How could I have forgotten that a lesson with a great swimming teacher is one of the most absolutely heavenly things in the whole world?!?! Hahahaha, Slava is a genius - we had a very productive session. No need to tally yardage as it was all drill, but here is my lesson and homework:
(1) Sweet spot. Kick on one side, rebalancing as you go and concentrating on staying relaxed and with an easy kick. Five rules: (i) chin to shoulder; (ii) if legs are sinking, lower head more deeply into the water; (iii) if you're swallowing water, bend neck very slightly to lift head higher in the water; (iv) if you're not moving forward strongly, leg should come out more resoundingly forward; (v) if you're floundering/moving unsteadily from side to side, leg should go more strongly backward.
(2) Alternating sweet spot. One side, then the other side. Rebalance each time. Easy kick with same rules as (1). Starting to think about stroke coordination.
(3) Swim with salute and sweet spot. Stroke coordination as a priority: salute (alternate: "time to switch" drill where you only go for catch and pull in front hand when your back hand reaches the position where you could check your watch), begin catch/pull, sweet spot each time.
I love it so much! Really I am leading a fortunate life: now have just over two hours to read a student article draft, write a few paragraphs of response to positive readers' reports on a book proposal so that it can move forward to the final stage of review at the press, retool my Wordsworth lecture opening given that we're coming off Marvell rather than Milton. Then student meetings and office hours, lecture on Lyrical Ballads and post-lecture teaching meeting with seminar leaders (at my apartment - must do a bit of tidying as well!). A day full of things I really enjoy....