Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rough Waters

Every now and then I have one of those 'I have completely forgotten how to swim' swims. Where I spash and kick and choke on water, and the only direction I seem to be able to go is down. Or sometimes backwards. The kind of swim where I am at the back of the rotation in the slowest lane, and am still getting lapped during 150 IM sets. The kind of swim where I shorten my 100m cooldown to 50m, because I truly don't think I can swim the last 50. I wish I was exaggerating.

It was just a bad swim, and they happen sometimes to everyone. From the novice flounderers like myself to speedy pros to you, your mom and everyone else. So I try not to let it get to me...but of course it does, just a little. Or sometimes a lot.

Did I want to give up? Yes. Did I want to jump out of the pool and hurl my pull bouy at the workout whiteboard? Yes. Did I want to yank my coach into the water by his ankles and yell, "If it's so easy, let's see you do it!" Yes.

But I didn't. Because I'm trying to be an adult.

When I'm frustrated about a workout, especially a swim workout, I try to focus instead on what I can do right, in the moment. So during my workout when I was swimming slower than I maybe ever had before and couldn't seem to get my flip turns right no matter what I tried, I decided it was a good time to focus on rotation. And high elbows. And high hips. And all those other little technique elements that get so often overlooked by self-taught swimmers like myself. If I'm going to swim slow, at least I can swim right. So I splashed on, throwing my hips around with each stroke, and scraping the ceiling with my elbows. Almost. Good technique did not make me swim faster. I know it won't until I put it all together, correctly, and learn to swim properly.

And if even that fails, there's always chocolate.

And if chocolate fails (as if!) there is this fantastic article on swim technique. I can't help but hope that reading it in bed with chocolate will make me faster.

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