Just a little background here: I’m ashamed to admit that at this age, I’m still a bad swimmer. I could barely make one lap, I hold my breath when swimming, and I have a fear of deep water. Best I could do is float and do “freestyle.” Learning swimming was part of my goals back in 2011, but it’s only now in 2012 that I finally got to do it.
If I’m gonna make it in this world, I told myself, then I have to learn how to properly swim.
Day One (April 6)
So I started my lessons with Coach Moi of Tri N’ Motion for Total Immersion swimming. The “TI” technique teaches swimmers to move through water efficiently by conserving energy. My Day 1 was on a Good Friday for 2 1/2 hours first thing in the morning. He and his wife were on a staycation during the Holy Week break like I was so we did the grounding on our common free day during the long break. He first checked my current “skills” so he’d know where to start. Our first session was one-on-one (normally Coach does it with a small, max of 4 students), and he really concentrated on me, giving me drills. I hardly have breaks.
So getting me to do those basic drills like “superman glide,” “skating,” “spear switch,” 4 laps each with and without his guidance was definitely a feat for me. (Look them up in youtube so you’d know what I’m talking about :)
Do I still want to train? After waking up at 5:30am, driving all the way to Cedar Crest in C5, buying all my swimming gears, I’m determined to learn and finish what I started.
Day Two (April 9)
Monday morning of the long break came and I was ready with my swimming snorkel. Coach taught me of breathing exercises and the way to use the swimming snorkeling goggles.
Sad to say, I hardly learned that day. It was hard for me to raise my head and breathe above the water (how embarrassing, right?!). I got even more confused when I had to use the snorkel already. But there was one improvement: I learned how to back float. (Not that it was a big requirement to do total immersion swimming.)
Day Three (April 11)
Without Coach, after work, I visited my friend and swam in Ohana in Las Pinas to practice. But then there were so many people, like it was Splash Island. I’m not surprised though, we have to bear with these hot summer nights. Anyway, I still didn’t get it! My head would get too submerged when I try to breathe above the water. One slight improvement: My kick improved.
Day Four (April 20)
More than one week has passed since my last *frustrating* swimming session. I was looking forward to this particular day as I wanted to learn this breathing technique once and for all.
So there I was in the pool, Coach Moi only gave me instructions on how to do it (you flip with your hips like a barbeque) and guided me by holding my hand. Slowly, I noticed that I was getting it, I could get my head a little above the water as I take in a lot of air. He let go of me as I did it and I was feeling the rhythm. I must admit though that I would sometimes stop because I ran out of air under the water. Coach said I exhaled all air immediately. He encouraged me not to stop but instead manage myself and think quickly what I should do next if it happens.
After I make it to each lap, I was panting so heavily. It was so hard yet fulfilling. Coach Moi is assuring yet can be pushy to his students. But hey, I learned! I think I did 8 laps of that drill.
Then it got harder–I then had to do the same breathing exercises, this time with arm recovery. I did 4 laps.
It was a good accomplishment that night, but oh no… this is just the beginning! Now I can’t wait for next week’s session.
* * *
To be continued…