Just thought I'd share something to offer another perspective and hopefully encourage some people to enjoy more that swimming has to offer than just... well... swimming:
I've had a great time the last year working on the technical skills of pool swimming. I never learned to swim properly as a child so have no club swimming background. I've had to teach myself from books, videos and more recently a local TI coach. However when I'm at the pool I get bored swimming reps and need a 'brain break' or physical rest so have really been working on the additional skills many people seem to neglect like turns, underwater dolphin kick and streamlining, breaststroke pullout etc.
Today I'm pretty pleased with myself as I've finally managed to bundle some of these skills together and perform a few decent 'Lochte freestyle turns' and incorporating a decent underwater dolphin in my backstroke too.
Lochte freestyle turn: https://youtu.be/bzKhswzqlag?t=1m24s
It's nice to break a session up with something else and it's really fun to feel like you are mastering the water. To me there is no cooler sensation in the water than gliding on your back watching the ceiling whizzing past and timing your breakout to perfection in backstroke even if after a few lengths you're burning from the anaerobic strain.
It's nice to learn a new skill and get that sense of satisfaction. I find that sense of accomplishment can sometimes be missing when you're chasing minor time improvements or become too focused on SPL numbers.