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Old 08-18-2011
jpwkeeper jpwkeeper is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 39

These stories are all excellent!

I'm personally struggling to find pool time. Part of it is life and kids, but there's another factor that I'm trying to identify. It's a psychological block of some sort, but it's not fear of the water or fear of drowning. I love going to the pool, love being in and under the water, I even used to scuba dive (found a loophole in the swimming test to get my cert). If I were to get dumped into deep water 100 yards from safety, there is no doubt in my mind I'd make it there just fine. It's something else, and I was kind of hoping one of your stories would resonate with me.

The day I posted this request, I had planned on going to the pool early to get some time to work my TI drills (I'm on lesson 2 from the DVD). I couldn't do it, and had no external reason why. It ate me up all day, but yet in the evening I took my kids to the local pool without hesitation. I tried to work the drills then, but with a 3 and 7 year old to worry about, it's pretty hard (plus I was a little agitated, so the things I did do went badly).

Thanks for the stories, though. If I can get one good practice session alone maybe I'll see that whatever this block happens to be is something silly (knowing that intellectually is different than knowing it at a deeper level).
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Old 08-18-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 804

I learned to swim in early childhood but not freestyle, ignoring the thrashing stroke you see frequently in public pools. In early 2009 I came across TI and shortly thereafter found myself swimming for the first time in years, only this time every day, and sometimes two or three times a day. The crazy phase of trying to work out how to do it has, mercifully, passed and I'm now swimming every day, but just once, with close attention to continued improvement.
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Old 08-19-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: San Francisco, USA
Posts: 169

Started learning from scratch (could not swim a stroke) at my local YMCA 2 years ago at age 47. Did so on the advice of my massage therapist to help a hip problem ("Swim the breaststroke," he said. "Ummm, I guess I need to learn to swim," I said).

Found TI at the same time, so I incorporated TI drills as I learned in an adult group class at the Y. Took 3 series of lessons at the Y, but they really didn't stress balance enough. Worked with TI materials, took a weekend workshop 6 months after starting lessons at the Y. Got inspired from the workshop and got corrected on some drills.

Went to the pool consistently 3x/week (including 1x for lessons). Kept up w/TI via DVDs, this forum, and some evenings at the pool with fellow TI'er Naji.

Tried open water for the 1st time 1 year after beginning this whole adventure (Naji got me into some chilly ow for my 1st time) and now love it. I usually swim ow on Sat & Sun; pool on Wed & Fri.

Was getting frustrated w/lack of progress after ~1.5 years. Took 2 private lessons w/Coach Shinji & those really helped my balance and other aspects.

I'd like to swim one more day per week but have not yet figured out a schedule.

Psychological barriers? None as far as fear of the water or procrastination about getting into the water (which surprises me). Swimming is the first physical activity I've found that I enjoy for its own sake, not as a "workout".

My barrier right now is still the breathing thing. In ow I breathe every 2 and can swim a half mile+ (mixing in some breast, but not because of breathing probs). In the pool I still get winded and am experimenting with various breathing patterns.
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Old 08-19-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
Default What Is The Block


"If I could get one good practice session alone...,(knowing that intellectually is different than knowing it at a deeper level).

Very nicely said and I am sure that many of us have had the same experiences maybe with issues other than swimming, but still the same core issues.

I for one can get in these modes of wanting to but just not doing it, then beating myself for not afterwards. With swimming it often is a result of not having made that progress I would like to have. Wanting to go mindfully practice, while subconsciously thinking whatever and then just not doing it.
Rational explanation probably not. Given time I have become more comfortable with what I have achieved and the path forward, than where my head says I should be but am not.

It has become what I hope is a life long journey and has helped in so many other aspects of living.


Swim Silent and Be Well
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Old 08-23-2011
michll michll is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5

Originally Posted by naj View Post
Being African American, and having come from a community that has a disproportionate number of drownings, I told myself that swimming was something I had to learn in order to live.

I learned from a kind man in Walnut Creek, CA. He taught me the basics of freestyle in one lesson, but I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing with each component. I've never had a fear of the water, only my comfort level was not high in that I couldn't swim outside of the shallow end.

Finally, went to another teacher and she specialized in teaching adult to overcome their fear of the water. When she saw I had no fear, she suggested TI. The rest is open water history :)

BTW, I was 43 when I learned how to do proper freestyle. Thanks Coach Dave and Coach Fiona!

Awesome, Naji! I like the message of your blog; I have added it to my Google Reader. One day I hope to be at your level! Thanks to jpwkeeper for the question and all of you for the stories. Encouraging to someone like me still in the beginning stages. :D
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