Two Arms, One Breath

Tonight I went back for Round Two of my 2-week swimming class. This time, I was properly equipped with my Speedo Women's Vanquisher Goggles. And my Speedo Latex Swim Cap which I just love!

What a difference they made!

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Marie started Sylvia (my new swim class friend) and I out with the same exercises we ended with last night - breathing and gliding. It was a thousand times easier with goggles! Being able to see where I was going helped me to relax so I could concentrate on what the rest of my body should be doing. This time, the gliding was much easier. So much so that after two laps, Marie upgraded us to kick boards!

Next, instead of gliding with one hand over the other, we held on to the kick boards while continuing to practice breathing and kicking - gliding across the short length of the pool, of course. I guess we were pretty good at this because after another two laps, she added on the arm motion. Now this will be hard for me to describe...

We kept the "kick-board > gliding > breathing > kicking" action going but added a "pull-arm-down-to-front-of-waist > pull-arm-back-and-over then rotate arm" action. What she wanted us to do was be able to do two arm rotations with one breath. The first couple of times were too much for me; I couldn't multi-task.

At one point I knew my form was terrible and I stopped mid-way through a lap and said, "That's wrong, I'm starting over." Marie was thrilled that I did that because she said half the battle is recognizing you have bad form and the fact that I could do that was fantastic. I think being involved in other types of workouts really helped.

Then Sylvia offered this advice: "Think of it like driving a car" she said, and it seemed to work! Funny how one little analogy or tip can make the world of difference.

I worked on this exercise for the rest of the class and to be honest, I could feel my arms getting a workout and found myself out of breath between laps. Exactly what I was hoping for!

As Marie watched my form, she said I wasn't exhaling enough and I had to let the breath out completely before coming up for air. She explained that I need to learn how to do this so that I can move on to the next step, side breathing. Its all about the timing and if I even take one extra breath, I won't be able to do it. Its not an easy thing to learn because its going against our survival instincts, so my home work for tonight (which I'm doing as I write this) is to practice letting out the breath -- at home, driving, at work, everywhere!

Great class tonight - can't wait to go back for more!