side effects or main effects? :)
Hi - I'm also a relative newbie (started TI in December). TI "side effects" I've noticed in me (though I am also coming to consider these effects "on a par" with the improvement in my freestyle stroke and distance/endurance) --
1. Less resentful of other lap swimmers, and more open to learning and sharing - for example, I now find lane sharing to be an opportunity to practice for the possibility of eventual open water swimming. I'm thankful for the more efficient, streamlined speed I can experience, even if I'm still slower than others. I enjoy telling others about TI when they comment on my smooth form.
2. Markedly reduced back pain (pain due to sacroileitis, due to walking "lopsided" for several years, due to MS) - I credit the gentle, even hip rotation of TI freestyle, which I engage in for 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day, about 5 days a week, in an 87-degree pool.
3. Walking more mindfully - very important since I have a walking disability and can also lose my balance easily. Whether I am using a cane or a walker, or merely navigating around my apartment without an "assistive device," I am much more aware of my posture, stride, foot placement with each step, even the use of my arms.
4. Presence and attention "in the moment" - except for necessary planning ahead, I tend to spend less time thinking about future activities or possibilities. I believe this has helped reduce my stress level.
5. Better sitting posture, especially when I'm driving to or from the pool. I think (I hope) I'm becoming a better driver too - more aware of my speed, more attentive to my actions (more careful and gracious), and less judgmental of other drivers.
6. More "realistic optimism" for the future - even with MS, I can experience "continuous improvement" (in many areas of life) with focus, mindful practice, and input from other people.