It sounds like a Zen guide to tantric sex but it's actually ‘swimming smooth’: There is a DVD by this name however SAM’s editor consulted this web based teacher easier to access:
and the links there.
As a 7 year old almost drowned in a beach hole next to Warrnambool’s Middle Island – the place with the curious stone flints, middens and fairy penguins in burrows (with cute sheepdog protectors in the Herald yesterday (offline) and see:
- until yesterday swimming has always been an enigma.
The frantic dog paddles off the low diving board at the local pool, to the revelation of blowing bubbles via deductive reasoning of a neglected 8 year old ('where does the stale air go?'), decent swimming technique has always been an art form for superior beings or kids who got real swimming lessons. But no longer. I have joined the ranks.
From an enthusiastic groveller in the lap pool, gasping and straining, I met the Swimming Genie again and we made peace. 20 easy laps, break and then another 16 just for fun. Yes the mid life crisis this summer is benign. All those laps also happen to be good for the flabby chin: Being one of those 2 million misanthropics who live alone
I don’t exercise the pharyngial muscles nearly enough talking so controlled breathing in swimming is perfect. There is always didgeridoo, a choir or getting out more and socialising. Next year perhaps.
And then there is my set of scales - a cheapie from Big W Rockdale: If I stand in a certain way it is either 85 or 95 kg. Now that’s a big margin for error. Time for a calibration via the local dollar coin machine but rapidly decreasing flab suggests it’s the lower end.
Stabbing the fish – its all about keeping your elbow high when hand (actually 'paddle' being hand/forearm to elbow) enter the water to a foot’s depth just in front of the goggles to grab the water and pull at right angles to the pool floor. Never lock elbow. Paddle with bent arm. Face is down, not looking forward, and let your head relax and float to keep the bum and legs up. Don’t kick hard, it's your chest and back that does most of the work. Do this and you will have 'balance' and you will feel like you are 'reaching over the low wall'.
Grab the water with ‘your paddles’, crawling (the Australian Crawl) as if on forearms actually, with hand at 90 degrees to the floor at all times from start to finish: This means pronating the wrist, that is, wrist fully bent back pushing the water when it gets next to the hip at the end.
And rotate, meaning with good technique habits above, you achieve a certain balance and thus can tilt on your lengthwise axis (a bit like an unlucky piglet on a spit): As you paddle the right hand/forearm stroke you can tilt the left high side of your body effortlessly up, which also helps in the side breath when required. Conversely as you paddle with your left hand/forearm stroke you tilt the right side up to breathe. It also means you get to look a bit at the underwater view to the left and right (but not in front because that stuffs your balance from bum and legs falling, which causes drag).
I took the advice and dropped back to the slow lane to even out my technique. And there is one thing they don’t tell you in these PG classified teaching aids. Or rather they call it ‘kinesthetic connection with the water’ but I don’t buy that. It’s sex. All that sliding, breathing and lapping relaxes the body like a good lover after orgasm. There is an intimacy. Talk about relaxing. I’m going back for more, as you do. Who said swimming was boring?
Picture: My choice of relatively quiet cafe on Glebe Point Rd near Glebe Market on Saturday's near Victoria Park swimming pool to dissect the Big Media coverage and enjoy the world music and great furniture, not least this crocodile table from the Sepik River PNG.