Wednesday, September 1, 2010

News briefs

I have lots of small tidbits to share relating to my fitness program.

First, my swim coach and I have been working on the butterfly stroke for two sessions now. Like usual, Josh is giving me lots of positive feedback, but I still feel slow and uncoordinated. I have a great dolphin kick but when I add the power stroke with arms I lose momentum. I feel like I made good progress last week, but I've lost the action patterns that were formed (the brain remembers the way the muscles and limbs move during specific activities and this is why one can usually repeat an action over and over once it is learned the first time). This week it was as if I was starting over with the training. Nevertheless, it's awesome that I'm learning the butterfly for the first time, and I know I'll soon get the hang of it.

Second, I've been doing an average amount of weight lifting over the last few weeks, and each time I do the bench press (2 sets of 15 reps @ 90 pounds) I feel muscle soreness the following day. That's good! I like to figure out the exact part of the pectoralis muscle that is most sore and then I imagine what it would be like if it expanded in size in that particular spot. This is, in fact, what is happening--the muscle is adding fibers in the same region that feels sore--but of course in the end, the addition of a few additional muscle fibers will not be visible after a single workout. I know that, but it's still fun to envision muscle growth.

Third, I have moved forward with the idea that I might join a Master's swim team in a neighboring town. Here's a link to the national organization. I'm not yet committed to joining, but I am closer to making that decision. I called the pool manager at the local YMCA and explained that my swimming speeds do not come close to those of swimmers already on the team (I saw their results posted to the Internet). She replied that some people are very competitive and others are not, implying that there are members of the swim team that don't compete at all. That's a little confusing, but my questions may be cleared up soon. The pool manager said she'd pass my name and phone number on to the swim team captain and he'd get back to me. That was 2 days ago now. I hope he calls soon, because I think I really want to join. The swim meets will be every two weeks between September and March, and I only need to swim in a few to be part of the team. Practices are every Saturday afternoon.

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