Monday, July 16, 2012

Swimming, Part 1

Swimming is actually pretty cool. I feel obligated to tell you, I have never been much of a swimmer. I mean I can flop around in a pool with the best of them, and probably knuckle my way through a short swim if I had to, but I've never had to swim anywhere before. Never been on a swim team, or even went to a school with a swim team for that matter! Haha! After some time thinking about it and reading and whatnot, I gave it a shot and was naturally TERRIBLE at it! I swam a grand total of like 50 yards before I ended up totally exhausted. This actually brings me to a great point. You can't learn to swim by thinking about it!! Actually you can't learn anything by thinking about it. I know this sounds fairly straightforward but you'd be surprised how many people spend gobs of time thinking about doing something, and never actually get around to doing anything! I am probably guiltier of this than most, to be sure, but let me tell you something, it's good for nobody. Never starting means you never finish. You wouldn't believe how the world will line up for you when you are on a mission though.

Literally the first time I stepped into a YMCA (simply because they have a pool at every location in the city) I met the coach of the master swim program there. Now, I am NOT a master swimmer by any stretch, but the coach was still able to teach me quite a few things in a very short amount of time. Now let me pause here and talk a little about the Young Men's Christian Association. They are a fantastic organization, which is not (as you might guess) just for men. They are actually a not for profit organization that specializes in helping people who otherwise wouldn't have access to fitness education programs, get access to them! So don't think of them as just another Gym chain or fitness club, they are so much more than that. In fact, regardless of what your situation is, you can go to the YMCA nearest you and do any of the things I talk about in this series, no matter what. I will talk more about the YMCA later on, just go do some research on their mission so you understand it better, use these links:

Anyway, I digress; back to talking about swimming. Don't go nuts and think you can swim a mile on your first day, and whatever you do don't be discouraged if you can't! The real trick to swimming is... well... learning the tricks. There is a technique to the strokes and it get's easier the more you practice and the more you know. The secret here is to realize it's more about understanding and knowing the right movements than it is about strength and endurance. When you’re getting started, just focus on learning the forms not how far you can go.

As far as which forms?? You've got to learn at a minimum, the Breast Stroke. If that was the only stroke you knew you could do an IronMan. Seriously! If you must know more, the next in line would have to be freestyle (or crawl as I call it). I don't want to name any others mainly because I don't really know any others and to focus on too many would just be confusing and pointless. You can get by on those two with no problem.

For now, when it comes to swimming, do yourself a favor and get yourself plugged into a place that people go to swim and start making friends. Tell them you are training for an IronMan and just watch how things will line up for you! I highly recommend the YMCA because you will get what you need no matter who you are! God loves a good story and so do people, so go on a mission and you will find the tools and skills you need to get the job done along the way! Faith is a powerful thing, try stepping out in it!!! Just do it!

Read the follow-up on swimming PART TWO: HERE!

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