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Old 06-18-2018
Posts: n/a
Default Teaching myself to swim: Where do I start?

Iím an adult male in his late 40s who is lean, strong, fit and otherwise pretty athletic and who still works out hard with weights and conditioning and competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with guys half my age. But somehow I made it 47 years without ever learning to swim. Heck, I even made it through USMC boot camp many years without learning to swim (I passed the swim qualification on sheer force of will). I was introduced to TI through a Tim Farris podcast last year and I decided I would make it my New Years resolution to teach myself how to swim. Iíve done nothing to follow up on that resolution.

Until now.

So where do I begin? What program(s) is/are the right starting place for someone who will be doing this on his own?
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Old 06-18-2018
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 712
Tom Pamperin

I think the Effortless Endurance course would be a good first step if you want to do this on your own with no coach.

Good luck, and enjoy!
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Old 06-18-2018
Posts: n/a

Disclaimer just my Personal experience.
I've some issues with my body so I can't really do something as well as I envision them at least for now.
My advice would be to enjoy it. When I "enjoy" often I close my eyes I think it makes it easier for me to focus on proprioceptive information and the feel of water.
Clearly you can't do it all the time, especially in the beginning (not going straight), you don't have to do it on the whole stroke cycle but I think it helps getting the "sense" of this new medium.
In the water you are not blind but I believe that a lot of ours sensitive references are off and more need to be developped (skin/tact for example).

If you can do video of yourself one way or another, I did not and I think it would have save me time as I would have realized glaring issue much earlier.

I stillI don't use chronometer for some personal reason biut it is needed as the feel of water and "sense of speed" may be missleading.
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Old 06-18-2018
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 1,104

Hello liolio,

Tom's hint and link are just the right ones for you to start. Don't think too much about ifs and whens, even before starting. To go through Terry's course you'll need just goggles and trunks... and a pool. Nothing else. A friend having a look at or taking a video one and then will be helpful too.

If you read the first book, UEF, of the course while working through the workbook and videos, surely your whole thinking about swimming and your stroke will change.

Enjoy every minute in and out the water!

Best regards,
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Old 06-19-2018
Posts: n/a

Thanks a lot. Now I know where to start. It wasnít immediately obvious from scanning the description of the programs.
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Old 06-20-2018
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499

@enkidu: If at all possible I would highly recommend a real live TI hands-on coach. The books and videos are great, but a real live coach should be able to correct you in errors sooner than you might be able to figure out on your own, and you'll get to a level of expertise faster than without help.

I too am vary fit and strong for my age. I'm an experienced runner too, so it was a real shock for me to find out that this does not necessarily transfer to an easy acquisition of swimming skill. My problem is that I tend to put a lot of strength and force into my movements, which is not necessarily a good thing, in fact usually not, actually, in swimming, especially economical swimming. Fortunately my TI instructor that I see about once a week is able to take the edge off this tendency, and when it works, I'm better able to put my awareness to better use in the subtleties of TI stroke finesse, but it's a work in progress.

Interestingly I am learning Aikido, too, in my old age, and it's amazing how parallel a progression to TI swimming it is, complete with me forever using way too much force (from years of training in hard martial arts), and ruining the effect of of the technique I am trying to learn!! Again, having a real live instructor and real live experienced partners really helps to correct one's faults in real time, rather than weeks or months later.

Hoping not to stretch the analogy too far, I just came back from a 95k bike ride today (another newly learned skill in my old age) and despite the physical fatigue, if I am able to be stay mentally sharp, it's amazing how effectively I can put out the watts as long as I relax and remember to cycle smoothly in relaxed circles.
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