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Old 03-16-2011
naj naj is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
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naj
Default Holy Cow I Can Swim Breaststroke!

Please forgive my long post but I thought I'd share what happened at the pool today. And before any of you get any smart answers out, yes I do go to the pool on occasion LOL!

Anyway, for the past couple of days I have been watching and re-watching Terry's "Breaststroke For Everybody" DVD. As he took me through the various drills, I stopped and re-played various parts of the sequence to make sure I had the ideas down (even going so far as to mimic the movements at my desk!)

This morning when I went to my local rec pool there was no one in the slow lane. 'Great' I thought, 'I have it all to myself.' I pushed off and began the 'out-sweep' drill w/o breathing, then the same with breathing; I continued onward with a mini-pull drill - first no breath then one with it - and onto to the kicking drills.

I had plenty of fits and starts, but on occasion I got a good glide and felt myself moving well in the water with efficiency. All the while I kept having Terry's voice in my head telling me to slow everything down, feel the water and keep streamline as long as you can.

Well after about 30 minutes of continuous drills I decided, 'heck why not lets give the whole darn thing a go.' I pushed off into a nice streamline and slowly got my arms into a 'Y' position and speed up for the 'I'. What followed next was a mix of joy and disappointment. I got a good feel for the 'Y' portion, and had a decent in-sweep as well, but as I glided, I laid there admiring my glide for too long and had to hurry up to get back to Y and hurried up my kick, forgot to glide worth a darn and noticed that everything began to fall apart. as I reached the wall, seemingly out of breath, I thought, 'just what the heck happened just now moron?' I thought about it for a moment then tried again, this time I went slower. As my arms went to Y and did a quick in-sweep, i looked at my hands as they joined together - sort of like in prayer - and thrust forward, while at the same time my legs came up and swung out in a nice frog like motion for the kick. At that very moment, I felt my body shoot through the water with a decent amount of power. In addition, when my head cleared the water it didn't do any sort of bobbing up and down motion that is so common amongst those who swim this stroke.

I found that as I focused on my in-sweep and what I call "prayer hands" I found that other parts of the stroke fell into place. Now before I say anything else I want to make it known that I have had this DVD for nearly two years, but for some reason wanted to get very good at front crawl before moving on to another stroke. So today was the fist time I did breaststroke in my life!!!! The DVD was such a great help in teaching me that I went about 90 minutes of getting - for the most part- a decent breaststroke going. In fact at the end of my session one of the lifeguards at the pool said, "I like your stroke it looks very relaxed and clean." I thanked him and told him it was my first time trying it. he looked on quite surprised and said he looked forward to me getting better.

With the help of Terry's DVD, I plan on doing just that. Well I hope this rant inspires others to give it a go either with private instruction or the DVD it truly is worth the effort!

Keep Swimming!
Naji
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Old 03-16-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Congratulations on joining the ranks, Naji!

I can confirm that breaststroke is a very enjoyable stroke and eminently suitable to open water swimming. In fact Captain Webb used it to swim the English Channel. The crawl or something like it was probably being used all over the world at the time but it hadn't reached Europe.

I suppose he was also using the breaststroke when he tried unsuccessfully to swim across the river below the Niagara Falls and died in the attempt.

But don't let that discourage you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Webb#Death
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Old 03-16-2011
naj naj is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
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naj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Congratulations on joining the ranks, Naji!

I can confirm that breaststroke is a very enjoyable stroke and eminently suitable to open water swimming. In fact Captain Webb used it to swim the English Channel. The crawl or something like it was probably being used all over the world at the time but it hadn't reached Europe.

I suppose he was also using the breaststroke when he tried unsuccessfully to swim across the river below the Niagara Falls and died in the attempt.

But don't let that discourage you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Webb#Death
Thanks Richard,

Yes I do know about Capn' Webb's EC swim and that he died trying to swim Niagara Falls. I'm still on the high of this morning and plan to come back tomorrow to improve. Who knows maybe I'll try butterfly soon :-)
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Old 03-16-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Naji

Butterfly is a challenge, but I haven't given up yet and believe I will eventually be able to swim a 50m long course race without disqualification. Not in the very near future, though.

I'm sure as a young fit person with obviously great determination you will succeed if you try.
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