A TI-Israel Story
I want to take the opportunity to share with this community my TI experience, which is probably common place for this site. Apologies if it's a little long.
It started in April when I completed several months of training and ran the Tel Aviv marathon. Immediately after meeting my goal (to finish!), I set out looking for another. I chose an Olympic distance triathlon in September (my first triathlon - at any distance).
As a kid, I took swim classes in Canada to the bronze level. That was almost 20 years ago and up until this course have I have never felt comfortable nor efficient in the water. I could move but not swim. I started my training in late May of this year and hit the pool, knowing full well that the swim will be my triathlon weakness.
First time out I swam 25m and needed to take a break. By the end of the first week it was clear that I needed some help. A private (non-TI) instructor didn't work out. I was becoming frustrated and skeptical at my triathlon goal. Everything turned around when my brother-in-law told me about TI.
I started my instruction in late June – 10 weekly classes that would finish on the Monday before the triathlon weekend. At first I was skeptical – I checked out the website and read some blogs but never assumed that I would achieve the results that I wanted.
On our first day in the group, our coach Michael (aka Miki) filmed each of us swimming freestyle. I did my best to impress - kicking hard, throwing my arm way over my shoulder and trying to get to the end of the little 17m pool. I made it and only slightly out of breath. Immediately following our day 1 film capture we learned to "skate" and everything got smarter…
I’m an engineer and have an interest in smart efficient processes. Skating was great! As soon as I felt my legs float up based on the angle of the straight arm, my perception on physics in the water became much clearer. And my belief in the TI process began. We skated for the first three sessions. Three weeks of skating! Three weeks of going to the pool on my off days, skating in the non-lane section (not without wierd looks and some odd questions for others). So be it. I know that a strong foundation is what will support the work.
Zippers, rails, and finally breathing…it took six weeks of patience and practice. Then one morning in early June I hit the pool with a tempo meter and just started to swim. I concentrated on each stroke, trying to STAY LOOSE, and to concentrate on being quiet and efficient. BOOM – I was totally in the groove. I did 110 laps of a 25m pool in 82 minutes and only stopped because I needed to get to work. What a feeling! My breathing was every two strokes and I know that I need to work up to three stroke breathing but for my first long swim it felt FANTASTIC. I wrote to Miki and from then on we worked on nuance - stay wide, shoulder check, let loose through to the fingers, etc.
Fast forward to the triathlon. I finished the 1.5km Mediterranean swim in 32 minutes and met my under 3-hour target for the overall triathlon. Last week was vacation time in Canada, and I took a dip in a small chilly lake north of Toronto. I swam 4km in a beautiful lake surrounded by large pine trees and the start of the fall colours.
In summary – I immersed myself in TI and loved it. From a course perspective, Miki first focused heavily on the basics and once in place, the rest of the time was nuance. There is still much to learn - perhaps a masters course or open-water group. Either way, I will continue in the pool, sea, or lake feeling confident, efficient and ready to go further.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Well done, welcome to the 'Kaizen' community!
you broke it down & highlited the Parts for Pat
one litte girl crying on the side and little boys just doing what they are told!
THANKS FOR YOUR STORY!
and struggling to stay on the Wet Side of the Recreational Centers...
I think I have to stay on the Dry side....
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