Drowning to Be Perfect

I’ve become obsessed. It is on my mind all the time. When I am not doing it, I am thinking about it. I am completely obsessed with swimming. Sadly, not in the good way of “Yay! I had a great swim! Can’t wait to do that again!” It’s more like, “What the hell can I do to make sure I don’t look like a idiot?!”

I have been swimming for as long as I can remember. I absolutely LOVE the water. I have been told that I am a great swimmer (even been compared to a shark!). When I started to train for the triathlon, I thought this would be the easiest/best/fun part. WRONG! Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong!!!!!!

Like most people, I know how to swim. BUT, like most people, I don’t know how to swim CORRECTLY!!! As I mentioned before, I thought this would be the part that I enjoyed the most. Last month when I started to train I hit the pool (By the way, I joined a gym just for their pool. I hate gyms, give me the outdoors for workouts any day!). I even had checked out a few videos to make sure my form was correct. This is one of them: http://http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiNkAMU8syI

I got in the water and started doing my thing. I felt pretty good about my swim that day. It was definitely different from the leisure swimming that I’ve done for fun in the past but I was proud of my performance.

One of the people/persons that I follow on Twitter is OnTri and one morning they posted something from their chat forum. A member had found a site that has an animated demo that shows how to do the freestyle stroke properly.

I thought to myself, “I already know the correct form.” But the I decided to click onto the site anyways. After looking at the cute animation (yeah, I belittled it by calling it “cute”) I continued to browse the site.

Cue the anvil falling on my head!

I got a RUDE AWAKENING!!! First off, forget the form, I need to work on breathing! Before submerging my head into the water, I always take a deep breath and go for it only popping up when I need to take another deep breath. BAD BAD BAAAAAAADDDD!!!!

I learned that it is very important to exhale while swimming. One of the major things I learned is if you don’t exhale while swimming your lungs hold in air making your chest very buoyant. This can be detrimental to your positioning. Oh, and you are holding on to CO2. That’s not so good either.

So equipped with this new information, I hit the pool again. Still feeling pretty confident, I decided to make sure I am constantly exhaling while my head is underwater. I am pretty sure the lifeguard was laughing on the inside. It was my worse swim EVER!! It was way harder than I thought it would be. The site said that it wouldn’t be as easy and to practice by trying to sink yourself. The stubborn person that I am, I skipped that part. Go ahead, slap my hand.

I “sunk” myself a few times and was feeling pretty confident. I got back to my swimming and was doing a little better. I felt that I looked like a drowning idiot. I was ready to jump out of the pool and go crawl in the corner somewhere. I felt defeated. Only until my next swim day.

I am feeling much better about my exhalation. I exhale from my mouth and nose. Which according to the site, is fine. Now I am back to working on my form. I feel that it is pretty good but I know it can be better. Much better. I am thinking of getting someone to videotape me so I can now exactly how I look.

Surprisingly, I am enjoying the trial and tribulations of my swimming. I think I have mini breakdowns here and there while training. Mostly because I am so hard on myself and I want to excel. I don’t want to make a fool out of myself. As I write this post I am thinking about my swim tomorrow. Wish me luck. Time to peruse some more sites for help.

Here is the Mr. Smooth. He’s not so “cute” anymore. I loathe him and his perfect animating swimming. Grrrrr!!!

Here is where I found Mr. Smooth and my rude awakening.


  • Mike Russell

    Mr. Smooth is like my mortal enemy. I would call him my frienemy…keep working at your swim. I thought I was a good swimmer too and I worked at it for about two years with little improvement. Then one day, *poof*, it all clicked. I got a ton faster within a two week period.

    It will happen.

  • Anonymous

    YAY! So I am not the only one that is quietly plotting the death of this animated being! I definitely think I will have a "swimming epipany." Like I mentioned, I may videotape myself just so I can see what I am doing correctly/incorrectly. At least I know there is hope. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.