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Old 07-05-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
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Talvi
Default Swimming in waves

Ever since I started my TI journey three years ago I've avoided windy conditions. It was just too much to learn to breath and deal with non-flat water. Last year I went for a swim in a 4 m/s wind, so a swell, and it was great. If you don't fight it and just go with it the feeling is wonderful. This year, today, the wind was 6 m/s. It seemed like most if not all of the waves had crests and finding a place to go in was a challenge. The rocks that make up the shoreline are angular and sharp not rounded by tides ans swell. But having found a place swimming was really special. The waves obliged me to synch with them, which is actually quite easy as you can feel the oncoming water with your spearing arm which also acts like a bowplane.

I came home and found I was disappointed to diccover that the winds are becoming calmer during the coming week! So just to say if anyone reading this is waiting for calm days like I was, don't, within reason. Once you're at home in the water, can float to take breaks etc, the waves to me are great teachers, ecouraging correct body position, breathing, and every otjher aspect of the stroke. Or maybe they just stop me thinking so much about it all!!
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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Old 07-05-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
Once you're at home in the water, can float to take breaks etc, the waves to me are great teachers, ecouraging correct body position, breathing, and every otjher aspect of the stroke.
Hey, Talvi, could you elaborate? For me, whenever I find something too threatening to my comfort level, I fear that I regress some finer point that I have recently learned in order to rescue my sense of safety. So in rough water I might very well worsen my body balance because of unconsciously making sure my mouth is safely above water in the uncertain chop conditions. (Whereas in the "safety" and predictability of the pool I have dared to keep my head very low while breathing in order to enhance my body axis balance.)

So how does the rough water encourage correct body position for you?
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Old 07-06-2015
Begather Begather is offline
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I also admit your opinion here. Really explained it greatly.

Last edited by Begather : 01-23-2016 at 12:50 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
Hey, Talvi, could you elaborate? For me, whenever I find something too threatening to my comfort level, I fear that I regress some finer point that I have recently learned in order to rescue my sense of safety. So in rough water I might very well worsen my body balance because of unconsciously making sure my mouth is safely above water in the uncertain chop conditions. (Whereas in the "safety" and predictability of the pool I have dared to keep my head very low while breathing in order to enhance my body axis balance.)

So how does the rough water encourage correct body position for you?
Hmmm. Not sure I CAN explain, but I'll give it a whirl. It's one of those things you really have to experience (as much is!).

I've already learned what perfect front-rear balance feels like. You and I have exchanged posts about the way I did this. Because of this it's just a question now of finding that feel rather than of figuring out the posiion itself. I know the feel of what I'm looking for so it's become quite a natural thing. That's not to say that when tension gets into my body, through focusing on thinking rather than feeling, I don't lose it as I do!!

In the water, in the pool but especially in the lake for some reason (maybe because you're blind in the dark brown water, I first find that feeling of floating on the suface (or in the surface to be more precise). It's like I am lying face down on an almost infinitely soft bed. Then I start to swim.

When conditions are rougher than choppy, i.e when there are waves (after getting flat and finding the basic feel) I feel my body being irresistably lifted and dropped by the wave motion. In choppy water the waves are too small to do this and just splash all over the shop. If you watch a waterlogged piece of wood in the sea at the beach you see how long it takes to become beached, and how it is stuck inside the water, moving with it. The same "stickiness" happens with my body in the waves - they carry me.

The result of this feeling of being carried, lifted, and dropped, is an enhanced sense of connection to the water's surface. My body follows the undulations of the waves, not bending, but as, for instance, a wave begins to pick up my legs the wave in front of it recedes so I am not pitched into it but simply lie on the inclined surface of the wave. The strength of the sensation stops my thinking so much, I release tension more effectively (becaiuse resistance is futile!) and find not only that good swimming technique is unaffected but that because I am already oving so much I can practice the movements without thought of distance, pace, SPL, tempo, etc. In the end I was surprised by how fast I swam both against and with the waves however the short distances involved (100m "lengths") and the feeling of being suspended in time as well as space means that impression may well have been an illusion. Who cares?

Breathing, wasn't much affected at the tempos I swim as I most naturally swim in harmony with the waves rather than trying to dominate them. I also found that I breathe quite normally, maybe rotating my head a bi more to the sky, but that's all. Ocassionally I found myself turning to breathe in the crest of a wave if I was swimming against the waves so then I had to wait for the next stroke to get air, but again as I felt so relaxed this wasn't a problem. If you can exploit gravity in the pool think how much greater the opportunity to do that is in waves.

Yesterday was the first time I've ever dared swim in those conditions. It seemed only a little scary, as I know I can swim now, but still the waves were sort of crashing onto the rocks! I had to find a safe place to get in! But the experience was for me far more fun than calm conditions maybe because there's no pressure. Swimming in those conditions at all feels like an event. Nothing else required. Over all it really felt like I was interacting with the water, just as per Popov's quote below.

IMO, if you understand how to release tension, relax in the water, and get to that feeling of immersion and connectedness with the water, then I'd say swimming in waves can't be beat!

Hope that helps.
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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