Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You look like a swimmer

I look like a swimmer.
"You look like a swimmer," said Josh, my swim coach. After my standard 400-yard warm up, he had me do 50-yard drills of freestyle where we counted strokes. You see, the fewer strokes I need to swim a lap, the more efficient the stroke and the longer or faster I can swim. That's a good goal. I started off with 17 strokes in 25 yards, which is basically at expert level already. But I'm 6'4" tall, so of course I would have a below-average stroke count to begin with. During the next 300 yards I don't think I did any better than 17 strokes per 25 yards, but Josh suggested that I shorten my kick. Instead of moving my legs far apart with each kick, I concentrated on minimizing the leg movements but kicking harder with my feet. This makes the body rotation with each stroke easier to obtain, since the kicking sometimes can work against the body rotation. Apparently I mastered the kicking and I maintained my stroke lengths, and I also practiced breathing on my left side in addition to my right. My flip-turns were pretty good, and I didn't get especially tired. Josh could tell everything was going right and exclaimed that I looked like a real swimmer today. Ever so briefly I took offense, thinking "what have I been doing for the last 13 months?" since I've been training with him for that long. But he didn't mean to suggest that I wasn't swimming well during this time; instead, he meant that my swimming was in top form, comparable to the competitive swimmers he trains. I'll accept the compliment!

OK, so now it's time to lift weights. I've got to do it now or else another day will pass without a bench-press.

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