Water is not my natural habitat, I’m confident enough in the water, happy to be there, but I’m distinctly lacking in any real skill or grace. I lack the coordination needed to move 4 limbs at the same time in a way that is conducive to efficient forward movement. I’m so right side orientated that my left arm just flops over in an awkward ark before splashing into the water and attempting to perform a good pull.
There is so much to think about when you’re swimming, which is probably why I enjoy running so much. With running you can switch your brain off and just enjoy your surroundings while your body moves your legs and arms perfectly in motion. In fact you run better when you do this rather than trying to think about what you’re doing. Which is the complete opposite of swimming where you have to focus almost 100% of the time on your stroke to stop it falling apart. Or at least I do, maybe one day it’ll become second nature but for now the conversation going on in my brain while swimming goes something like this:
Right arm, left arm, right arm, left arm, BREATH
Right arm, left arm, shit..kick legs, right arm, left arm, BREATH
Right arm, now left arm but keep it close to my head, right arm oh god need a breath, left arm, BREATH
Right arm, Where’s my head? Too high, push it down, left arm, chest pushed down too, right arm, crap not kicking my legs, left arm, BREATH
That’s just half a length, today I swam 100 lengths, my brain was more tired than my arms. One positive from my swimming is I’m definitely getting leaner, noticeably around the waist. Running the mileage I have I clearly wasn’t fat but working in an office means you struggle to completely lose the padding around the middle. Just a few weeks of swimming has had an impact and hopefully will also start to strengthen my back which has been a weakness for years.
I don’t think I will ever be a visitor to the pool out of choice, there has to be a goal for me to get into that tepid water, but slowly I’m adapting. However once the lake is warm again in the Spring I’m not sure you’ll be seeing me in that pool very often. I love swimming outside, seeing the fish, enjoying being out in nature, it’s a completely different sport to pool swimming and is something that I’ll get out of bed at 6am for!
Am I alone in my swimming struggles? Anyone else a reluctant visitor to the pool?