Originally Posted by terry
Can you name the top 3 aspects of longer-distance swimming skill that you feel you could improve right now?
(1) My first lap is always so awesome and it feels so smooth (except for the turn) and powerful. Then things go down hill from there. I would like to swim longer with that feeling I get from the first lap and that will only come from swimming a bunch more laps... practice!
(2) As suggested above, I think working on the flip turns would enable me to better achieve #1 and enhance my experience of flow throughout the time I'm swimming. The break at the end of each length seems to disrupt things.
(3) Commit to doing it. In the old forum, you'll find at least two threads I posted about "I think I"m a swimmer." I've struggled with this whole notion of what should I be doing for the best use of my work out time for years. Calorie burn and muscle tone used to be highest on the list but I think aerobic capacity is right up there. With the back issues and the creeping blood pressure, I think my best best may be to focus more on swimming with body weight exercise mixed in for resistance training.
Two things about committing.
One, motivation is not an issue but payoff is. I need to be convinced that what I'm doing will provide me the benefits I seek or I'll go elsewhere which is why I've gone away and come back so much. Same with Chi Running but I'm pretty convinced that's out now for me.
Two is related to one. If part of the payoff is that I can be GOOD at something, that's a big motivator. At 55, I pretty much suck at all the things I used to be good at. I played basketball for many years and that ended with a medal in the Senior Olympics (regional) but I knew that was it. My body could no longer do what the mind knew needed to be done. I have friends who still "play" but they aren't really playing, they are just participating which is fine but not for me. I would like to actually be somewhat GOOD at something still. It really pisses me off to go to the gym (I work on a college campus) and feel that I'm some how "less than" the others around me. I guess the ego doesn't go away even when the body falls apart. However, I think that swimming might be the one area where I could at least hold my own. I had a 1 1/2 x body weight dead lift and a 1 x body weight squat three years ago but that's all gone and I don't think those are sustainable anyway (may even be part of the problem now!) but swimming is!
There is no Masters program close (enough) by but I can still do this on my own or at least make progress. So, Terry, the obvious reason for calling me out on the "three things" was to create a plan. I have the beginnings of one and I will find one of the books you mentioned as well because I'm also interested in the mental aspect as well.