Week 3 – 20m down, 3980 to go


When you read about swimming free style, there is a lot of discussion about smoothness and balance. When I swim free style the water looks anything but smooth.

My body is flopping around, my arms creating drag and interference at every possible moment.

And I keep reading this whole smooth and balance thing and all I can think is – damn. It’s like runners high. There is no such thing as smooth swimming. Until I see this dude and…

And I feel worse. It’s like watching someone who can dance, dance just after you think it’s impossible. It feels like Luke Skywalker being schooled by Yoda in Dagobah after he fails to use the force to free his star ship from the swamp.


And I am thinking, this, this kind of beautiful swimming is so far out of my reach it might as well be from another species.

But once you see something is possible, there is this bit that flips, and you think – okay there is something there that I can strive for. So back to the pool, back to doing the work. And I start doing research on the perfect stroke, on the concept of weightless arms, of rotation and of using your chest as a buoy…

And then for about 20 meters, I am able to get all of this to work. My head is in the right position, my arms move in the right way, my hips rotate and it feels different. I mean, it actually feels like a different body is swimming through water, and then the turbulence takes over.

So it’s like riding a bike. It takes a while to get all of the pieces in place, and then you just have to build on it.

Obviously, I don’t have the physical strength and technique to swim 3980 meters perfectly, but I do have the strength to do 20m – not perfectly but at least with less turbulence. So we have a start. And that start, at this moment is all that matters…

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