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stroke, kick, swim, and LEARN

>> Thursday, October 18, 2007

I saw this entry by Andrew M.C. Guitarte in the Magis book edited by Queena Lee-Chua. It talks about his reflections in triathlon. I was inspired by this non-fic essay that I decided to make one for swimming. I thought of it while I was doing my regular laps last Friday. So, here it goes.

Stroke and Kick

i had a bad start at swimming. when i was around 7, my family and i went on a vacation with our family friends. we rented out a private pool and all the kids went rushing to the waters. i already knew how to float and i bragged that i can brave the deep end of the pool.

i jumped into the deep end (silly me) and found myself gasping for air. so much for bragging rights. my friend pulled me to the shallow end. i cried like hell. i was so embarrassed, my ego drowned and wasn't saved. poor little me.

i vowed never to swim again, until high school. we had mandatory swimming classes and i had to swim again. eventually, i joined the swimming club and was a member for two years.

swimming has been my known sport. i watch tennis. i took up badminton and table tennis for pe; but it is swimming that is always close to my heart.

i was overjoyed when planet infinity opened memberships for their swimming pool. i swim at least once a week, to keep my heart healthy. i have to admit, i'm on this age where people talk about health and exercise. it's the season of taking care of my health and body. swimming is one of the best sports that tones all parts of the body.

every swimming day is a moment of reflection. my mind still races with my pace as i do my strokes. my body is exercises, so is my brain. i've learned some things that keeps me going, every time i visit the pool.

1. count the laps, not the minutes
my first goal was to swim for an hour. i kept on looking at the large clock on the wall every lap, that it seemed too long to reach one hour. it became boring and taxing to wait for the minutes to pass that i only did less than 20 laps. counting the laps forgets the time, the next thing you know, you're swimming for more than an hour already. it also adds to your bragging rights that you did 50 or so laps in an hour, without really thinking about it.

2. get even
count your laps in even numbers. i do it in tens because it's easy to track the number of laps i do. if you want to practice your multiplication skills, do it in sixes or in fourteens. it depends on you, just do it in even numbers. that way, you return to the side where you once started. it's easier to remember.

3. it's all about sets
another mathematical way. after counting in even numbers, group them into sets. i do six sets with ten laps each set. that way, i can forget about the first ten laps when i'm into my second set. what if you lose count in the 49th count? where do you start? at least you can back track to the latest set you did. it's easier to count sets than 40+ laps.

4. give it a go(al)
promise yourself a number of laps (choose a reasonable number, don't promise yourself 100 laps if you can't do a hundred) and stick to it. no matter how lazy and tired you should be, make sure you stick to your goal. i promise you, it'll be fulfilling if you finish your set. it's not just about keeping fit, but also being disciplined in your training.

5. don't cheat
for heaven's sake, don't cheat. if you lost count, go back to zero (or to the first number of your new set). be sure of your lap counts. the word "maybe" isn't acceptable. "maybe i did five." no, don't say that. it has to be a sure five. if
you can't remember, go back to the number that you are really sure. don't let God do a parting of the red sea to tell you that you're not keeping your goals straight.

6. do it gradually
if you're a first time swimmer, don't do sprints right away or push yourself to 70 laps without stopping. start with ten. if you feel your heart's gonna pop out of your body, stop. you own your body and you should know its limitations. add to it when you feel comfortable with ten laps. increase difficulty when it becomes comfortable.

7. don't skip a beat
unlike gyms, swimmers don't have the privilege of having an ipod during training. you're lucky if your pool area comes with speakers to provide music. music is actually helpful because it can determine your pacing. since i can't afford those waterproof mp3s (or the ipod shuffle modified for swimming, complete with earphones that also serve as plugs), i found a way to keep myself amused while in the pool. hours before swimming, i drown myself with one song. i prefer an upbeat song to hasten my pace. i make sure that it will give me the LSS and make me sing it subconsciously. when i'm in the pool, my mind races with the beat and my body catches up. it also keeps me entertained. if you can LSS yourself with more than 3 songs, better.

8. love little miss muffet
remember the nursery rhyme little miss muffet? there's a line there that says, "eating her curds and WHEY." whey is a source of protein. it is in powder form and can be mixed with anything. most gyms spike their shakes and smoothies with whey. it provides muscle development.

swimming is not just a sport. the pool is a venue to test discipline, values, and attitudes. it is a place for life reflections, where not only the body is toned, but also the character.


stepanya 3:31 AM  

aylab swimming too! sa lahat ng sport na tinry ko, ito ang pinaka-enjoy ko. at endurance sport kasi siya, di katulad nung iba kong na-try na strength ang usapan. araw-araw ako dati magswimming nung bata ako!

kaso habang tumatanda, tumataba! hahaha. ayan ayoko na mag-bathing suit. bow.

yumiskee kulitskee 1:44 PM  

eh kung batukan kaya kita? anong mataba? hello, may mga kasama nga ako na aakalain mo laging busog. :)) hahah pero in all fairness, magaling sila lumangoy.

koreek, masarap magswimming. endurance nga, sarili mo ang weights. ohlala.

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