Harry The Halibut: Getting Wet

Last week I started swimming again. I’ve just got back from my second session and I still suck. This seems like a good side-topic to blog about, as I’m essentially learning to swim again. Harry The Halibut is a hat-tip to the famous Eric The Eel. I think it’s apt, as I’m certainly floundering at the moment.

The first hurdle was getting back into the water. I’d say I’m now pretty comfortable with the idea of going swimming. Taking my shirt off in public is still an issue for me, but I’m getting there slowly. The fear I now have is that the pool is going to be busy. This is almost exactly the same as when I first started using a treadmill or the weights room: people are going to see how crap I am and judge me! For now, my strategy is to go for the last hour in the day, so far there have only been a handful of people swimming at that time.

I can’t swim well enough yet that I can do an effective workout. My breaststroke is alright and I can knock out a few lengths no problem, but my front crawl is atrocious – and this is the stroke I want to be doing. More specifically, I can’t figure out how to breathe properly. I’m aiming for bilateral breathing (alternating left/right side breaths) but I can’t get it working. One problem I identified is that I don’t fully exhale before I take a breath, so I’ve still got a lungful of CO2 when I try to inhale; after three breaths like that my lungs are full and I have to stop. More generally, I’m not 100% comfortable in the water yet; I panic when I’m holding my breath and I don’t think my balance/shape is right at all.

But I’m already making progress! I managed a couple of single lengths with good breathing tonight. I reckon another session or two and the breathing will start to click and I’ll be off.

Self development rocks.