Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Keeping My Head Above the Water

Or rather, getting it into the water, actually.

I had my first swimming lesson today! I wasn't even sure if I could be taught how to swim. Actually, I'm still not sure! I am not very athletic and have some issues with multi-tasking different parts of my body... I decided to take up swimming, or try to, as part of an ongoing weight loss effort. IsraeliDad had this theory that swimming would be safer for me, and I would be less inclined to hurt myself while swimming. Well, that remains to be seen. So far, after one single lesson, I already feel pain all over!

I actually made some progress with making the right moves. I surprised myself by getting along fine with the whole "head under water" issue even. The main problem at this point is this: I manage to push myself into the pool and start my swim, get through the first set of moves, with my head still underwater.

Then comes the scary part. After you have performed one set of movements with your legs first and arms next, you're supposed to elegantly lift your head above the water surface, not too high, open your mouth in a swift burst of air to prevent water from dribbling in, then take in air and submerse your head again for the next set.

Well, by the time I get to the point when I'm allowed to take my head out of the water, I am very much in need of oxygen. I don't think I am looking very elegant at that moment either. My main focus is on getting some air in and I lift my head way too high for it. My body then responds by sinking lower into the water, and my head tends to follow (they are attached after all!). Of course, I had totally forgot bout that sophisticated mouth opening thing and have quite a lot of chlorine enriched water in my mouth by now. By the time my head sinks back in, I am choking and totally forget about my next set of movements anyway.... I usually just come to a halt, stopping in the middle of the pool, getting some precious air into the system while coughing some water out. I am not at all sure an objective observer would call my current style of swimming elegant, or even effective :p

My good friend Steve told me that the most important thing in swimming is not to panic. Well, I'm sorry, but when I can't breathe, I tend to panic, I guess. I'm not even sure if it's panic per se. I'm too busy thinking about oxygen to define my exact state of mind at that exact moment.

Anyway, my instructor has not given up hope. I think she thought I did well, and as I said, I think I did do fairly well, at least compared to what I had initially feared - that I wouldn't be able to keep my head under water and blow those bubbles.

Well, they say we all originated from swimming creatures and it's just a matter of allowing your body time to remember. I am counting on that and going for the full swimming adventure. We're about to get a membership to a good swimming pool in a nearby kibbutz and start practicing tomorrow morning!


Steve said...

Hey, you did very well for your first lesson, seriously. You know, it's incredibly tough trying to remember species memories from 250 Million years ago! It's a deep subject, as it were.

deb said...

Nice going!
Take it slow, you'll get there.

IsraeliMom said...

Thanks Debby! Soon enough we may be able to swim together ;) (don't worry, I'm not getting delusional - was only joking lol).

We checked the Sportan and other options in the area. Ended up going for the Gan Shmuel subscription - seemed to have the best deal all around. We went there today for the first time and I managed to get across from one side of the pool to the other. I drank a fair amount of pool water too on the way, I'm afraid, but hey, at least I didn't drown lol

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