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  #11  
Old 12-06-2012
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Default Why we do it ...........

Hashcu,

Often in the my first days of learning to swim .... that was my question as well - "why ?" The frustration didn't seem worth the effort. I often had to remind myself that I wanted to learn to swim and the "why" was because I was envious of those I had seen swimming when at a beach. It looked like great fun and until I could swim, it was an enjoyment I'd never experience.

We are a social animal and we do things because we have seen other people enjoying a skill level at these other things. Or perhaps omeone may have suggested an endeavor; and most require a learning process. My father suggested I study the flute. My wife wanted us to learn to dance .....of course my question on that one was "why?" ( I think the answer "was to keep peace in the family".). So we did several years of ballroom lessons. Someone we met at these lessons was into downhill skiing and suggested we try that. The enjoyment level gained from skiing is difficult to match. Like swimming, any new skill set requires learning and practice. Lots of analysis and thought goes into them all. It seems to me "the child is the father of the man" applied to me in that some of the things I did prior to "advanced" years had little to do with physical activities. I didn't swim or ski and certainly had no interest in dancing. So ..."why do we do it?" We do it because somewhere along the way someone suggests it or we saw something we wanted to be capable of doing. We could all sit around and wait to die or we can train ourselves to do something that will give us some enjoyment. Just my simple take on it !
Mike
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2012
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
... Buddhism in general assumed that the world is a cosmic flux of momentary interconnected events (dharmas), however the reality of these events might be viewed. Nāgārjuna sought to demonstrate that the flux itself could not be held to be real, nor could the consciousness perceiving it, as it itself is part of this flux.
Haschu
I describe myself as a Taoist - in terms of going with the flow, perceiving where natural events are leading and trying to align my intentions and actions with that.
However, the above is pretty metaphysical -- and that's one kind of meta- I'm not. At least when it comes to swimming. With swimming I'm strongly committed to investing my time and energy in things that are empirical and verifiable.

In fact, one of my prime criticisms of conventional/traditional swimming is that most of the methods it advocates are belief-based, not evidence-based. With TI, at least in technical matters (how to swim, how to train) I strive for advocacy only of those things that are evidence-based.
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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What is Mastery? - A little demonstration in balance and body awareness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqIO_xuzFMU
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
It was only yesterday I realised that it is the kaizen approach to improvement that separates a chef from a cook and here you are quoting a book about it. I will be looking for this in kindle form tomorrow.

Thanks for sharing.

(High protein, low sugar, very tasty fruit cake recipe available to anyone interested).
#1 count me interested

#2 i just told this story to my boyfriend last night...but one of my top 10 most memorable patients of the thousands I've treated, was a young head chef at a resort in Estes Park, Co (very touristy town). He came to see me for an injury and I asked him gently about how he became a head chef at such a young age. It was essentially his Kaizen appraoch...at every place he'd worked he took meticulous notes, studied them, retried recipies & improved upon them, eventually (probably immediately), creating his own amazing versions by combing things he'd learned from a wide variety of courses.

Can it be any better than this? Until your comment Andy, I'd never made this connection between Kaizen learning and this young man who was in my mind just yesterday.

Thank you!

#3 Haschu...I learn for selfish reasons, because it's intoxicating! I can't stop and frequently, like now...don't want to...but I must so I can sleep and do itall again tomorrow. :)
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2012
caronis caronis is offline
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Default Overthinking leads to Underdoing!

Wow . . . this thread has some loose ends. . . I don't even know which end to address, but I'll try. . . I will give you my perspective of the middle way and if you need to follow the sage advice of some little guy walking around in a diaper all day, then maybe you should accept me as your guru. . . The very real and "Concrete" way of looking at swimming improvement is to survive in a rip tide, or to save someone who is stuck in a rip tide. . . If you swim everyday and have horrible technique, then your chances of dying in the ocean are amplified....If Michael Phelps was at the beach and someone was in stuck in a rip tide and he didn't jump in to help, then his Gold Medals aren't worth their weight in Brass. . . I have more to add, but I need to go and change my diaper. You might ask the philosophical question of why change my diaper if I am going to soil them again . . .the answer is . . . because it feels like shit to be stuck in a rut. This is why improvement is essential. Because it feels like shit to be stuck in a rut....
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  #16  
Old 12-18-2012
caronis caronis is offline
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Default Let me take some of my shit back!

Okay . . . Let me back off from my previous comment a bit . . . This thread is actually very significant to me. . . I am involved in the Textbook Industry so I have been thinking quite a bit about the Purpose of Textbooks, the Purpose of Education as well. . . It's frustrating because I think Higher Level Education is overpriced, not clearly defined in it's purpose, and maybe even counter-productive at times. . . In fact, I think that the talk about TI Swimming and Meta Learning can be applied to higher education. Higher education has been stuck using mental kick boards for so long, nobody even recognizes it. Most of what is learned in college is forgotten and is not practical to real world use as far as I can see. Why is that? Maybe for the same reason why traditional swimming instruction is antiquated. It's tradition and assumed to be valid. I have to actually agree with Haschu in a certain way because he addresses the higher level of purpose that can be so lacking in many people's endeavors. One of Stephen Covey's 7 principles or habits was "To keep the end in mind". I think, though, that Haschu gets into an existential angst that goes way too deep for me. Also . . . He quotes, "Nothing fails so much as Success". His interpretation of that quote is different than mine. My interpretation of that is that when you succeed, you stop trying to learn and get better. You get complacent. That is an anti-TI philosophy.

Also . . . he signs off with from a "unsuccessful" swimmer. This shows such a different in perspective. I see myself as a "successful" swimmer yet I bet I'm much slower than him. I see myself as successful because I can swim 1000 yards more than 30% faster at the age of 47 than I did at the age of 20. It was because at some point I realized that there has to be a better way of swimming than I had been doing. To me, being unsuccessful, is the definition of insanity that I've heard before . . . Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the results to be different.

I could continue and maybe I will about the need or desire to swim 10 seconds faster than before, etc. Why that's important, etc., but I'm going to give it a rest for now....There is another adage I'll conclude with . . . Nothing induces as much paralysis as an overemphasis on analysis!
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  #17  
Old 12-18-2012
The Parrot The Parrot is offline
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Haschu, Thank you for so often bringing us back to our psychological, even spiritual, roots which seem to complement your own, and certainly Terry's physical development. As long as there are human beings with different interests, talents and ambitions, I do not think we can ever arrive at a simple answer to your question - but it would be hugely interesting to sit with some of the contributors on this forum with a bottle of good wine to develop the subject.
I can only try to answer your question in this way.
I recognise that I would never have been an Olympic champion, world champion or any sort of champion in the top echelon sense. But in the past with running and now with swimming, thanks to TI, I believe it is still possible to make myself the best Martin T. I can be. I have tried - not always successfully - to do that with my creative work, relationships and in all the main aspects of life. For me this philosophy has enabled me to do some things I might once have thought impossible but always left room for further improvement. It also means I don't beat myself up if I cannot be the best in the world and achieve everything I might wish. It doesn't diminish my competitive instinct one iota but it makes it possible to live with myself. What will be interesting is to see is this works right to the end . . !

Martin T.
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2012
azamy azamy is offline
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Originally Posted by caronis View Post
If Michael Phelps was at the beach and someone was in stuck in a rip tide and he didn't jump in to help, then his Gold Medals aren't worth their weight in Brass. . .
This reminded me of an incident that happened a couple of years back, I saved a 3 year old boy whose death was almost certain in the muddy waters of the stream that passes in front of my house. It was 2 pm in a hot summer day, I was on my way to the hospital to see a family member, something grabbed my attention, it was a 3 year old boy in muddy rain water of the stream and there was no one out there, I was like a God send for the little boy. As soon as I saw him all I could think was to throw my cell phone out of my pocket and jump in the stream to get the boy, thanks to my confidence that I could swim and had no fear. I have enjoyed swimming every stroke ever since I have learned to swim but the joy of saving a life is not something to match with medals or anything else... The medals are for you but the life you save is for humanity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caronis View Post
In fact, I think that the talk about TI Swimming and Meta Learning can be applied to higher education. Higher education has been stuck using mental kick boards for so long, nobody even recognizes it. Most of what is learned in college is forgotten and is not practical to real world use as far as I can see. Why is that? Maybe for the same reason why traditional swimming instruction is antiquated.
Nicely put together. What is learned in college is mostly to pass the exams as in traditional swimming kicking and pulling is to get to the other end and not sink. I would say that I learn and learn not to be better or wiser than others but better and wiser than my previous self or in other words for the excellence of learning.

"And you! When will you start that long journey into yourself?" - Rumi

Please forgive my irrelevance if any, I am just in an ecstatic mood and writing whatever comes to my mind now. I will have to read them later to see how insane this post is.
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2012
caronis caronis is offline
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Originally Posted by azamy View Post
I have enjoyed swimming every stroke ever since I have learned to swim but the joy of saving a life is not something to match with medals or anything else... The medals are for you but the life you save is for humanity.

What is learned in college is mostly to pass the exams as in traditional swimming kicking and pulling is to get to the other end and not sink. I would say that I learn and learn not to be better or wiser than others but better and wiser than my previous self or in other words for the excellence of learning.

Please forgive my irrelevance if any, I am just in an ecstatic mood and writing whatever comes to my mind now. I will have to read them later to see how insane this post is.
Great Post! I'm not an Open-Water Swimmer, but a big advantage is if you can swim long distances as though it's a walk in the park, you can easily survive a rip tide. The scary thing about a rip tide is that you have to be counter-intuitive (just like the swimming paradox) and swim towards the ocean, not towards the shore. This requires calmness and composure because panic will kill you. Panic will make you less buoyant in fact.

I'm certainly not the guy who should be the first to jump into an ocean to save somebody. Better that I find a lifeguard because the situation could go to one person struggling to save their life, to two people struggling.

As far as education, I want to tell you and everyone else about some interesting online educational initiatives. Three websites . . . Udacity.com, coursera.org, and edx.org. They are offering education for free for now. I like Udacity probably the most because the Founder has tried to veer from the traditional lecture format and make the material more engaging and interactive. The reality is that the average attention span for a lecture is about 10 minutes and so he tries to get students to participate more in the material.

And to reference back to Steve Jobs and Apple, lately I've been checking out the educational material on Itunes and it is really top notch. I think these websites are a response to that. There will be a major paradigm shift in higher education over the next few years or so.

When you mention wisdom, I think that's an interesting word because there is a difference between wisdom and knowledge. I won't get too much into the semantics of it, but I will tell you specifically what I find frustrating...I just finished a Physics Course, but I don't see how I can apply it. I can use a mathematical equation to determine acceleration, but I have little understanding of the mechanics of my car. What happens if my car breaks down? I'd like to know how to fix it, or what's happening to it.

If I was to take a Chemistry Course, at the end of it, I still wouldn't know what's in my household cleaner and how it works. There are countless examples like that I could cite...I don't like that education is mired always in the abstract.

Let me try to apply this to swimming as best as I can.

There is a famous Phd Coach named Ernest Maglischo who wrote Swimming Fastest....I briefly looked at this book and he creates some type of physics vortex equations explaining his theory on the S-Shaped Arm Stroke...Later in his career, he ended up slightly changing his conclusions so that there was less emphasis on the S-Shape and more on the backward motion...To me, this is an example of relying too much on intellectualism and not enough on actual feel and feedback...This caused many people to do some bizarre S-Shape that seemed to make sense, but contributes little or nothing to stroke efficiency.

I think that wisdom is something different than straight knowledge. Sometimes the most knowledgable people have this lack of wisdom where they're too theoretical in their approach. I think that the Proof is in the Pudding.

This is where the feedback of time, perceived effort, stroke count is important. Is it so important that you shave 10 seconds off your time? . . . What is probably more important that you do things that actually contribute to your improvement. . . If Swimming could be made to be analogous to Life, then maybe we can learn to not waste our time doing things that don't matter, but things that actually make a difference. In whatever facet that might be. Work, relationships, Sport, etc.

By the way, I forgive you for any irrelevance, if you forgive me for any irreverence....Out here in California, Irreverence is an Art Form!
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2012
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caronis View Post
There is a famous Phd Coach named Ernest Maglischo who wrote Swimming Fastest....I briefly looked at this book and his theory on the S-Shaped Arm Stroke...To me, this is an example of relying too much on intellectualism and not enough on actual feel and feedback...This caused many people to do some bizarre S-Shape that seemed to make sense, but contributes little or nothing to stroke efficiency.

I think that wisdom is something different than straight knowledge. Sometimes the most knowledgable people have this lack of wisdom where they're too theoretical in their approach.
Caronis, you make a valuable point. I think one of the reasons for the success of the original TI book is that I emphasized learning via direct experience. I had always found myself attracted more by the immersively sensory aspect of swimming than anything else. When I was coaching competitive swimmers in the 70s and 80s, I was mesmerized by the beauty of certain elite swimmers, like Tracy Caulkins, who held American or World records in every discipline -- even Phelps has not done that.
While I couldn't swim as she did, I found I could imagine how it might feel. I would experiment with trying to create the feeling I imagined while watching her. Then I would have my swimmers repeat the experiments that seemed to produce the most promising results.
In instructing them, I'd describe the sensations I had. Those who had a higher degree of self-awareness could often translate my sensory instructions into movement that looked quite similar to Tracy Caulkins.
Then I would have their less-aware teammates watch them and try to imitate.

When I started coaching adults about 10 years later, I naturally used similar approaches, so when I wrote the TI book, the instructional parts had lots of sensory language. I believe this is the aspect readers responded to. And another 20 years further on I still focus on feeling on every stroke I take. After so many years of doing so, my sensory neurons have become incredibly keen. This means they give me ever stronger and more accurate feedback, and heightened pleasure. So it's become a 'virtuous addiction.'
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 12-19-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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