I've always wanted to be a "good" swimmer. I was in the freestyle relay team at school. I was not the slowest on the team but I was in a different league to the two best. I think I was doing everything wrong. I was tense, and trying to use force not technique. Although I breathed (!?!) I still felt my body running out of oxygen almost as fast as if I were holding my breath. Maybe that's why I swam 50m quite fast. It was either that or drown!
Forty years later I'm living in Finland, no pools (I've never been keen on them really), "just" lakes and islands stretching over hundreds of kilometres. It's private and congenial too, as there's a grebe and her chicks that I swim with! It's quite easy to practice feeling relaxed (now the water is a little warmer) because it is so beautiful. Here, my swimming changed when I was introduced to bathing after sauna. It became a wonderfully hedonistic pleasure that converted me into a grinning two year old! That maybe teaches a little of how TI swimming is described. Anyway, I found I could swim b.s. for some way (a few hunded metres maybe) BUT still the old problem remains. Perhaps I am expecting too much for too little, but I am hoping TI may provide a route forward - a way to "go for a stroll" in the water. I want to swim as lazily as possible for as long as possible! :D
I've begun to read some of the great advice on this forum, and think that what I need now is to see what you're all talking about. I've looked at the DVDs here, but without a pool a lot of the gradated exercises are impractical in open water. The open water DVD "Out of the Box", seems to be for those who already know what they're doing (?), so I wonder if the "Total Immersion Self-Coached Workshop" DVD would be the most appropriate.... What I think I'd really like is a looped tape of each stroke to show me what I'm aiming for and that I could study. Easier to see coordination than try and explain it.
So, any suggestions or advice would be really helpful, and thanks for this great resource! :)