Friday, February 26, 2010

First Week of Training: Swimming

The first week of training is like the ever feared first week of school. Lots of anticipation of how you are going to do, who you are going to meet… and God please don’t let me get picked last for kickball! Everyone has to introduce themselves and people start making new friends, catching up with old ones. Since there are both “Newbies” and “Vets” in my program it’s not quite as easy as going away to summer camp where no one knew anyone else, but everyone is nice enough, and you can always assume the other newbies have the same apprehensions as you… at least one of them has too, right? You also readjust from your “summer schedule” to “school hours”. You sit there on the bus at 5:30am thinking, it was only last week when my earliest mornings began at 8am *sigh*.

On my first day of swimming our hour was filled mainly with drills. Since I have never swam professionally I didn’t completely understand the point of the exercises, but I went through the motions expecting to understand more later. There was a lot of focus on kicking: kicking from the hip and keeping your knee and ankle flexible but not floppy. The purpose of kicking is to keep your bottom half up and even with your upper half (the straighter you are the less drag). We also worked on the proper upper body form especially when taking a breath. Your head should be down and eyes looking slightly ahead, but don’t allow your head to be cocked up, again causing drag and limiting your stroke length, not to mention being very uncomfortable. When taking a breath make sure you are turning your head to the side, not up and over, and instead of just turning your head/neck, focus on your entire body pivoting to the side. This allows you to keep the sleek shape, momentum, and allows you to reach your stroke even further.

To be honest, it’s just nice to get back in a pool. Being from Florida, I’m used to swimming being as common as walking. This whole northern concept of only swimming between Memorial and Labor Day is just a crock!

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