Originally Posted by trekcenhoj
Well. I hate to admit this, but it might just help others. [...] Now I consciously keep my eyes open through the rotation and it has made all the difference in the world.
First of all, John, thanks so much! That did it to me, in an unbelievable way.
I'm from Italy, when I was 6 I've learnt to hate the water thanks to the "drop the baby in the pool, he'll eventually learn to swim" old school type of teaching, at 18 I've taught myself a survival kind of freestyle (torso flat on the water, desperate high frequency kicks, powerful breathing in order to survive till the next breath, and so on...) that got me slowly from wall to wall in a 25 meters pool for a maximum of 20 times in the best days, stopping a couple of minutes at every wall to regain a breathing stability, and now that I'm 38 I've decided to learn freestyle properly: in the past weeks I've been experimenting with the TI drills, focusing on the mistakes of my improvised freestyle technique and trying to correct them one by one. Now my body rolls, my elbow is high, my legs kick in a 2 beats pattern and I'm relatively relaxed while swimming, or so I thought! I was so wrong.
I've taken the habit of reading this forum during the working day, noting the hints that could be helpful to me, and applying them in the late afternoon when I'm back from work, swimming in the sea, and this morning I've read John's suggestion of keeping the eyes open during the whole breathing process: I wear goggles and keep looking at the bottom of the sea while I swim, so it's likely I keep my eyes open when my head turns to breath, I thought, but let's give it a try: well, it's been an a-ha moment that has lasted 100 meters of the most terrific swimming experience I've ever had. An unknown ease of breath, and together with that a peace of mind and complete relax, fluctuating in the water like I've never done anything else in my life, I was smiling in the water. I can't wait for tomorrow afternoon to come to try and get that feeling again. Thanks so much, John!