I had another swim lesson this morning and I have to say – it wasn’t horrible!
I made MAJOR improvements today. My instructor had me floating with the kick board in front of me and then I had to put my face in the water and exhale and simultaneously bring my arm back to my side. Part of the actual stroke. When my arm was to my side I was then to turn my head to the side and breathe. I could hang out in this side position as long as I was comfortable and when I was ready to put my face in the water again, I had to bring my arm from my side, up and over my head and into the water again. You know… kind of like I was actually swimming!
I did this drill for most of the lesson. It was not easy and yes I freaked out often, swallowed way too much water, gagged and in general sucked. But other times, I didn’t suck! Other times, I actually exhaled under water, brought my hand back and turned my head to the side!!!! This may seem like nothing to you, but to me this simple act was EVERYTHING. I have never ever done it before. At one time my instructor told me she wanted me to do 2 laps without stopping (aka, no freaking out and stopping to stand and catch my breath, which I was doing often) AND she wanted me to do two strokes in a row. And me being goal oriented and wanting to make sure I did the two strokes, I did them right off the bat so I could get them out-of-the-way. But after I was done with my two strokes I started choking. BUT I didn’t stop. But I did slow down enough to make sure those counted as my two strokes in a row! And when she said yes, the pressure was off. Whew. I did the 4 lengths/2 laps without stopping. I didn’t do the breathing the whole time, a lot of the time I just floated with the arm at my side and my head turned, but that’s okay. I had to get comfortable doing that too. One time, in the middle of the lap I didn’t breathe correctly and I swallowed water and started gagging and my instinct was to stop but I didn’t! I kept going. Abbie, my instructor, said that was her favorite part of my whole lesson. She could tell I was struggling and about to freak out but I corrected myself and kept going. That’s HUGE. Seriously… that is HUGE for me.
What I did today seems really small when I type it out, but it really isn’t small in my world. I didn’t run a marathon or set a PR, but I made HUGE strides today by continuously putting my face in the water. I tried breathing. I didn’t always do it right, but I tried. And even when I was freaking out, I kept going. That’s huge.
I think I just got my early Christmas gift… the mini-self encouragement needed to keep going and try again!
Until next time,
Gotta run (and swim)