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  #11  
Old 04-14-2011
gregnz gregnz is offline
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Hi Bill, my only advice is keep having fun. I spend a full 15 minutes of my hour on superman. I'm a bit impatient to do the other drills, so do those only occasionally. But I try to swim mindfully, and be aware of what I'm doing, if any tension creeps in anywhere, or if my stroke length is going up. I don't stress about it, but just try and notice any changes.

But that extend the lead arm advice I've mentioned was probably the key point for someone at our level, so maybe try that out and see what happens?

good luck!
Greg
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2011
Mempho Mempho is offline
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Congratulations, Greg -- pretty much the same experience here. I was feeling frustated with the basic exercises, when I experimented with extending my arm in swing stroke, reaching for the end of the pool. Extension led me to more body rotation, and with rotation the 2BK fell into place. Suddenly, within a few strokes, I was swimming in an effortless way I couldn't have begun to imagine. Getting breathing integrated was tougher. It took weeks of practice to get used to bilateral breathing. Right now my focus is on balance and I expect to be working on that for quite a while. I'm still doing the basic exercises every pool session, amazed at how helpful these exercises are.

Jim
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  #13  
Old 04-15-2011
terry terry is offline
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Greg
You've obviously struck a nerve here -- or better yet a chord -- with your chronicle of teaching yourself to swim and finally realizing the elusive goal of ease. There's a lot I could comment on, and I will, but first I just have one question. During that period before you committed to LEARNING to swim - in place of Pushing to swim - what was it that kept you returning to the pool for your 2 laps -- as infrequent as it may have been.

We plan to relaunch our e-zine shortly. Your first-person story is perfect for it.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #14  
Old 04-15-2011
gregnz gregnz is offline
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Jim, congratulations! I think we're both probably at a similar stage, and its good to share the road :-) For me, bilateral breathing took a few weeks as well, and its still not perfect, on my left breath my head goes all over. But that rotation and extension makes everything kind of work.

Terry, the two laps was very infrequent, occasionally years and getting less frequent as the years went on (I'm 36 now). I had bad experiences learning to swim when i was a kid (freezing pools + asthma = lots of time off school), and... it just didn't work. I had essentially given up on swimming, and had all sorts of irrational justifications, eg: too lean to swim (obviously Mr. Phelps is a fatty!).

But I felt that swimming was something I should be able to do. NZ is 2 islands filled with lakes (very cold!), water everywhere. And it just felt like I had a deficiency, and I was letting myself down.

However, I didn't know where to start. I've seen swimming tutors just telling people to swim. Which is great if you know how to swim. So I ruled that out. Then I read about total immersion on four hour work week, and ... grabbed the book. Then DVD 1 and DVD 2.

I really have to say again that one of the big things that TI did was give me permission to play. Not force myself to swim. Thank you!

Long answer to short question! Hope that clarifies.

cheers
Greg
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  #15  
Old 04-23-2011
rdc569 rdc569 is offline
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I'm really glad that I saw this page. I had a few bad experiences in the water and just started to learn how to swim 3 months ago as an adult. All of my practice/lessons/coaches up until this point have been sort of counterproductive. Everyone is telling me to kick harder or do more conditioning and I still can't break the 50m mark.
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdc569 View Post
All of my practice/lessons/coaches up until this point have been sort of counterproductive. Everyone is telling me to kick harder or do more conditioning and I still can't break the 50m mark.
Understandable. That's a poor approach for an adult-onset swimmer.
Instead, concentrate on balance and streamlining - with minimal leg movement. Your conditioning will improve slowly and naturally.

See the many TI demos on the WEB or pick up a copy of one of their DVDs or books.
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  #17  
Old 04-25-2011
gregnz gregnz is offline
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Hi rdc

ah yes, the ol' "fake it until you make it" school of swimming. The one where the coach goes "Swim 50m and then I'll tell you how to swim 50m, that'll be $50 thanks!". I saw a lot of those types of coaches, and just decided to skip the whole lot...

I'll write some of my advice. Bear in mind that I'm not an expert and have self-taught... nothing to stop me dishing out unfounded advice!

first up, awesome work on actually learning to swim! when youre an adult, I found that if you go to the pool, you're 'expected' to swim. Which makes it difficult for those that can't. Its hard, so congratulations for doing it!

my thoughts:

The first rule of TI (which probably isn't the first rule, I'm making this up, sorry Terry!) is to relax. I found this hard, but relax. Go to the pool, splash around a bit. Forget about trying to swim 50m, forget about swimming at all. Relax and do superman. Superman is fun, trying to go a bit further, see what happened if I kicked a bit. Superman teaches you balance and streamlining... which...

is the second rule of TI (again, I'm just making this up... amazing what you can do without any editing!) is streamlining and balance. In fact, given that I'm basically a newbie with no qualifications whatsoever, I would say that swimming is streamlining and balance, with a few annoying arm and leg movements and oxygen requirements thrown in.

The only reason the breathing and stroking and kicking are 'hard' is that they screw with your balance and streamlining.

So swimming = a) learning to balance and streamline, and b) learning to stroke, breath, kick without them screwing with a).

did I mention good work on the actual getting to the pool bit? :-)

I think you should do superman until you're sick of it. Then, when you feel like it, roll onto the side into the skate drill and work out that its pretty easy to get to air. Then do some more superman. I love superman!

And stop kicking as much as possible. I remember the first time I stopped kicking, and suddenly all this drag just vanished. I was slowing myself down in my octopus-in-light-socket flailing. Its amazingly energy draining, and doesn't appear that important.

so the third rule of TI (disclaimer again...!)... don't struggle. Forget about artificial measurements like "metres swum", because theres an incentive to keep going when things feel rubbish. Don't struggle. I try and work out what is tense or whether I'm out of breath or... whats going on. And pretty much I stop, relax, do a few more superman drills, then start again. Or not. I'm easy.

which brings us to a completely made up 4th rule of TI... think about whats happening when you're swimming. Am I streamlined like I was during superman? Are my legs up? is my neck relaxed? am I kicking only a little bit? are there any muscles that are getting tired? am I out of breath, and if so why? try things out. read the forums and watch the dvds to see what happens.

gee this post got long. Sorry! Finally, don't stop. It took me 18 months or thereabouts to get to the point I could say I can swim. I'm sure you'll do better, since I'm not great at following drills... but it is definitely worth the effort, and will transform you from a non-swimmer to a swimmer. Which is awesome.

cheers
Greg
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  #18  
Old 03-12-2012
kiwiford kiwiford is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Whakatane, New Zealand
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kiwiford
Default NZ TI Swimmers please

I know a couple fo years have gone by since these posts.
BUT so so hoping to make contact with ANYBODY in NZ who swims TI.
I am teaching myself from 2 min You tube clips watch for hours every day.

Ph is 0211642064
Cheers Marie
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  #19  
Old 03-12-2012
nicka nicka is offline
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Wow, what an inspiring thread.
It seems to me that a lot of people from what i have read throughout the forum really take off from about that 12-18 month period where they experience an effortless swim even if it only occurs on one day.
Like myself i experienced this a while back after 12 months of trying where i felt i could have swam for hours.

Nick
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  #20  
Old 03-12-2012
Ken B Ken B is offline
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Hi Greg and all,
I hesitate to clutter up this space but this progress is so familiar I cant resist. I found TI on my 68th birthday and it's now 5 years on. I consider myself a recreational swimmer and my total focus is always on ease. All summer I swim near high tide in 'my' estuary. I have never seen anyone else swimming there. I did persuade an ironman friend of mine to swim with me the other day and we had a grand swim of about 1500 metres which is further than I normally swim because I'm nursing recovering bilateral supraspinatus tendons. I dont time myself because current makes nonsense of times and because I cant read my watch without glasses. For the same reason I havent used my TT yet but I will take my reading lens to the pool and try it. Apart from a few glides it's all 'mindful' swimming. The water temp has just dropped sharply from about 20C to 16C. I find that once it gets near 13C I take too long to warm and I take to my light weight wetsuit. Sorry Naj.
In winter I'm forced into the local pool where I mainly do the drills and resist any idea of distance or counting laps.
I read the forum most days and love it. I am grateful to Terry and team for the whole swimming adventure. I know that coaching would hasten my pilgrims progress. I would love 5 days in warm water with coaches and like minded swimmers.
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