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  #1  
Old 01-24-2018
Bada Bing
 
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Default Thank You All

Dear All at Total Immersion Swimming,
I feel a bit of a charlatan as I have read the forums, gleaning advice and motivation for months whilst not contributing to the threads. Not that I would have anything valuable to contribute.

I had never been able to swim properly. I learned in school as far as being able to scramble to the shoreline in the case of an emergency. Last Year, at the age of 42, we made our Family New Year’s Resolutions, mine was to be able to swim freestyle properly. As much as anything else, my children at the age of 6 and 4 were starting to be able to swim better than me.

As with all resolutions, I got going in October and joined a gym with a 25m pool which sits on my way home from work. I started by jumping in and trying some lengths, and similar to many on this Forum who can run marathons and bike 60+ miles with no problems, I was gasping for breath after one length and calling the Paramedics after 2 lengths. I have a measured VO2 max of 60ml/kg/min. How could this be.

I persevered with my You Tube lessons, clearly the problem was technique. I also took up some lessons with the Gym provided by Jade (not a Total Immersion Coach) who started me out with the basics. In our first lesson she asked me to swim a length to see what she was working with. I in turn swam my best length ever, I was expecting at the other end to hear “you are not that bad”, but what I got was an underwhelming purse of the lips and “we’ve got a lot of work to do” and “do you do any core exercises”? YES!..... “Oh!.... You seem to have quite a weak core… And your kick…...”.

Jade gave me advice on how to improve my kick and advised me to reduce my internet/youtube research, which I tried, but I could not stop. I am fairly sure I have read the whole Internet swimming section. Even now I can get half way through an article and realise that I have already read it. During this period, I came across TI, and behind Jade’s back, I started doing the drills.

Whilst getting the gist of the drills, certain things were not able to click, mainly the two beat kick and , you guessed it, consistent breathing.
Jade continued working with me, but I was also reading advice from a long and distinguished list:
RobM77
Terry
CoachBobM
CoachStuartMcDougal
CoachSuzanne
Novaswimmer
Werner
BradMM
Talvi
Sclim
Andyinnorway
Mike from NS
Nicodemus

Fast forward to last night, 24th January, approximately 4 months along the journey and my most recent lesson with Jade. I was asking could we focus on my catch because it felt slippy. I swam a length and Jade said “nothing wrong with it, your stroke is pretty much spot on”. We then moved on to straightening out my tumble turn.

The point of all this is that much of the progress I made after the basics has come from this website and forum. All of the advice and break through stories from other members and coaches has kept me going. There have been sessions when I have not been able to get past the wall and thought “what is the point”?

For any others going through this stage, the advice on this forum is sound. WHEN IN DOUBT, GO BACK TO THE BASIC DRILLS/PROGRESSIONS AND TRUST IN THEM. I haven’t had a BIG A-Ha Moment, but I have had many small ones along the way. This video on two beat leg kick sorted out my involuntary Evinrude 400 propellers in a 20 minute session:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3co3nFnY-I

My journey is by no means over. I still over turn my neck for air sometimes. I attribute this to the muscle memory in my neck from my earlier panicky stroke. I know I can improve everything, but I am ecstatic about where I am up to now.

Thank you all once again.

Andy
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2018
Naji
 
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Congrats Andy! It's not easy when your doing it on your own. I know I was where you are once. When I found TI, it was revolutionary for me and still is. Though I still have little things to sort out even after 10 years, at least I know how to fix them. Swimming is a joy and an immense part of my life. I'm sure your feeling the same way. You've made great strides and will continue to do so over the course of your TI progression. Again, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment!

Keep Swimming!
Naji
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2018
sojomojo sojomojo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bada Bing View Post
WHEN IN DOUBT, GO BACK TO THE BASIC DRILLS/PROGRESSIONS AND TRUST IN THEM.
Your post could have been written by me! I decided to learn how to swim after I retired. It was one of my many post-retirement challenges; and in the beginning, it was a very frustrating challenge that I thought might defeat me. Nevertheless, I kept at it and it's still a work in progress.

I do want to echo your WHEN IN DOUBT, GO BACK TO THE BASIC DRILLS/PROGRESSIONS AND TRUST IN THEM. At one point, I got real frustrated because I didn't think I was making any progress. Someone on this forum wrote that "you've got to earn your progression" so I stepped back and went back to basic drills. I had given minimal time and attention to the superman glide drill so I started with that again. It finally dawned on me that if I can't do the basics drills efficiently, I hadn't earned my progression.
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2018
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 228
novaswimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bada Bing View Post


I persevered with my You Tube lessons, clearly the problem was technique. I also took up some lessons with the Gym provided by Jade (not a Total Immersion Coach) who started me out with the basics. In our first lesson she asked me to swim a length to see what she was working with. I in turn swam my best length ever, I was expecting at the other end to hear “you are not that bad”, but what I got was an underwhelming purse of the lips and “we’ve got a lot of work to do” and “do you do any core exercises”? YES!..... “Oh!.... You seem to have quite a weak core… And your kick…...”.

Jade gave me advice on how to improve my kick and advised me to reduce my internet/youtube research, which I tried, but I could not stop. I am fairly sure I have read the whole Internet swimming section. Even now I can get half way through an article and realise that I have already read it. During this period, I came across TI, and behind Jade’s back, I started doing the drills.


Andy
I do wonder how much Jade is really going to be of help to you.

First, I would have critiqued your balance and horizontality in the water. This determines how much drag you are generating. Sounds like you are fighting against some drag since you mentioned how winded you were.

Also, some of us older guys just don't have a very effective kick because of lack of ankle flexibility. This may be an issue for you, or maybe not. No amount of kick training will likely change that. I use my kick less for propulsion than I do for rotation. Kick timing is then more important than force. Kick board training is not going to help with kick timing.

Did she work on breathing skills at all?

Last edited by novaswimmer : 01-25-2018 at 02:58 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2018
Bada Bing
 
Posts: n/a
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novaswimmer View Post
First, I would have critiqued your balance and horizontality in the water. This determines how much drag you are generating. Sounds like you are fighting against some drag since you mentioned how winded you were.

Also, some of us older guys just don't have a very effective kick because of lack of ankle flexibility. This maybe an issue for, or maybe not. No amount of kick training will likely change that. I use my kick less for propulsion than I do for rotation. Kick timing is then more important than force. Kick board training is not going to help with kick timing.

Did she work on breathing skills at all?
Hi Nova,
In fairness, my stroke was probably that bad at the time it was a case of where to start. My hips were dropping and we worked on that. Funnily enough. Although Jade is not TI, breathing wise, we did whale eye, fish hook etc.
When we have done kick training I had to drop the board early on as it was a distraction. I would kick in streamline and then one stroke to breath and then back to streamline kicking.

When I swim now its two beat kick, but I still like to do kicking practice as it helps me fire the right muscles without thinking too much. In terms of timing, I feel like the kick happens as my pulling arm (same side) passes under my chest. But that could be disproved on video ;-)

I have also found that doing some lengths without kicking at all, just trailing my legs behind, forces me into a wider entry and better catch.

It's great to hear from you Nova.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2018
Bada Bing
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sojomojo View Post
Nevertheless, I kept at it and it's still a work in progress.

.

Hi Sojomojo.
I think that it's a work in progress for everybody no matter what level, and there is the attraction.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2018
CoachBillGreentree CoachBillGreentree is offline
TI Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Posts: 61
CoachBillGreentree
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There's no point in your swimming life where you'll be saying "Yup, I've learned all there is to know about swimming. I am done!"

It's always a work in progress, focus, correct, focus and enjoy the journey.
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