About two months ago I started to swim, bar a week in Tenerife I hadn’t swum since I was at school. It’s been a shock to the system and it’s made me realise how much I like running more!
I spent the first month hacking my way up and down the 25m pool generally doing about 40 lengths in a session, which is 1km. But I had zero technique, it was more a case of not drowning than swimming. This was compounded when in the lane next to me swimmers are carving their way through the water like a hot knife though butter. My legs were sinking I couldn’t breath properly and when I did I could only do it from my left hand side. In short I was a mess.
I haven’t given up though and I had a lesson with Russ Smith from Tri Fitness who very quickly identified a number of easy wins. Even just reviewing my stroke after being filmed I could see many ways in which to improve which reminded me how important it is for us to review our performances no matter if its in work or in sport. We did have one incident in the lesson when my shoulder dislocated which I think unnerved Russ a bit but I managed to get it back in the socket and we cracked on.
In the few weeks since Russ’s expert input I have both improved and struggled. At times I have wondered why I am bothering and then I remember a big challenge I have set for next year that means I have to be good at swimming. I also know that I will get there as long as I keep going and work through these challenging days. I am sure that this time next year I will look back at the semi drowning me and smile – I hope so anyway.
So what I have learnt so far;
I enjoy running more than swimming
Get professional help early to help you improve
Focus on your weakness, which for me is swimming
Don’t be scared of it going wrong or looking rubbish (in my case half drowning)
There will always be people better – don’t beat yourself up about it. Just be your best
Loads of people will help you if you set a goal.