That’s what Dory says. And that’s what I literally did ! And I didn’t drown! No really, I know how to swim, but I’m not good at it and I don’t like it. More than a week ago I had my first lesson of my freestyle course.
I was so nervous. Doing new things on my own always makes me nervous. Doing new things on my own way outside my comfort zone make me even more nervous. Can you imagine how nervous I was.
Warm up was 8 lanes, I got immediately behind on the rest of the beginners. Of course the ashtma girl gets way behind right away. It made me feel really insecure.
Did I do the right thing taking these swimming lessons?
Do I even belong here being such an asthma nerd?
Is it a good idea starting doing triathlons on my 39th?
What if I never get the hang of this swimming?
What if I fail?
I’m already out of breath and we didn’t even started yet.
All these thoughts were going through my mind during the warm up. And for a second I almost honestly did believe I didn’t belong there. Luckily I was able to kick my own ass ( not literally of course). In my mind I spoke to myself with a very firm voice; You are here for you, you can do what you do, you are gonna give it your all and that’s more than enough, you paid big bucks to do this and you are here to learn. There is no failing possible. Okay, I answered with a tiny voice to myself and I kept swimming…
And I continued the warm up, didn’t do my eight lanes and nobody cared.
After that we did four or five exercises with a snorkel. First I felt a bit silly, because the exercises looked pretty lame. At first we had to swim like a dog, head down on the water on our bellies. Yeah, that was weird. After that we had to move the water sideways with just our underarms and hands, keeping the elbows and upperarms still, keeping the elbows high in the water, a bit like a zombie. Third one arms still like a zombie, but move the underarms backwards instead of sideways. And at all time keep your hands as a relaxed scoop. Fourth one still head down on the water and bellies down, we had to stretch our arms forward and make the entire scoop and push movement in the water. First part, the scoop movement we already practised with the previous exercises. After that, push your hand and arm behind you.
At last we had to do the entire armmovement of the freestyle stroke.
That was difficult. Felt like learning how to drive. So many things to remember all at the same time. The coach said that speed is not important, we had to focus on the technique. I am really glad he said that. None of us was fast. With all the exercises we could use our legs, but it was not the main thing in this lesson.
Why did we use the snorkel? Because the only thing you have to focus is on the movement and technique. You don’t have to worry about getting your mouth above the water to breathe.At first it felt unnatural to breath with your head down in the water. My brain could not handle it, so my breath was a bit panicky at first. But soon enough I got used to it. The coach said we already made progress in the first lesson. And I actually enjoyed it. I actually did not expect that at all!
I really recommend using a snorkel when you are still in the learning process of all this swimming. It is nice to not worry about proper breathing. I did a swim practice today on my own with my snorkel and at first I felt a bit silly, but I did noticed some progress since my last lesson. It felt great! Yes, I’m gonna keep swimming, keep swimming…