I was very intimidated at the thought of going to a “Master’s Swim Class” at the University. I thought everyone would be staring (um hello Baywatch high cut leg bathing suit), we’d have no idea what to do, and everyone else in the class would be half fish half mortal aka total pros out there.
But I told myself there was no other way I’d enter a triathlon race with enough confidence to swim unless I had a teacher. This was after all an event where swimming efficiently could not only shave off time but save your life as well. Knowing what to do out there is imperative because swimming is not like running. If you get tired on the course, you can’t just stop and hunch over. Swimming requires you to paddle, learn how to float, navigate/sight, and streamline your body in ways that at first do not seem natural. I knew at least that much without stepping foot in the class thanks to fear.Whenever I’m afraid of something, I seek out loads of information and use it to anchor my doubts. I don’t get as carried away with what terrifies me if I know more about what to expect.
What I didn’t know about swimming was how hard it would be to learn the techniques, how easy it would feel once it started clicking, and how rewarding every single workout would be. Ryan Lochte sure
is easy to look at makes it look easy!
We’ve been to 4 Master’s Swimming classes so far and things are finally starting to click!! It’s such a great feeling to to know that you are improving.
What I’ve learned
Everybody looks dorky in a swim cap.
You eventually get more comfortable in your one piece bathing suit, but until then, shorts are awesome for when you’re walking around the pool before class.
You will swallow lots of water, feel it go up in your nose, and get frustrated at times while learning techniques during drills. Don’t let this make you feel like a moron. Chances are, your class mates are going through the same thing. There was one drill where I remember feeling like a total failure when water kept going up my nose but when I reached the wall I overheard 2 really fit and experienced looking guys talking about how much it sucked that water kept going up their noses. I smiled and joined the bitch fest Nothin’ like suffering through a workout with others!
Lesson Learned. Looks can be deceiving!
You’re not as bad as you think.
Isolated drills where you learn one move at a time help your freestyle swimming a lot!! Also known as the crawl, this is what most swimmers use in a triathlon. After all these drills I’ve found that my elbows go higher, my head sticks closer to my shoulder during breaths, and my reach is improving. Without coaching and these drills, I don’t think I would have ever learned to do these things so well on my own.
Nobody else is watching for your mistakes!Everyone else is too busy doing their own set of drills as determined by the coach to notice anything you are doing. Cool right? So take your time learning and enjoy it! I promise you won’t get embarrassed.
Don’t worry about being slow you’ll most likely be in your own lane or with others at your level. Plus, circle swimming makes it easier to go at your own pace even while sharing a lane. Most sets include 15 seconds of rest when you reach the wall which gives you extra time to finish if you’re finding something particularly difficult.
It’s fun to be a student There’s something so motivating about learning in a group! It’s easier to learn when you know other people are in it with you. I also like just having to show up because the coach already has a plan ready to go. I get to hand over my trust and just focus on each task at hand instead of worrying about how long, how far, and what I should be doing to improve.
My favorite part about pool swimming? Being able to stand up at any time during a drill if I panic or get tired. If you’re a beginner like us, this is a really great safety net that will make you feel secure out there. I did this a lot during class #1 and even though I haven’t had to since, it’s nice knowing that it’s there. I don’t need to worry about anything scary happening while I’m learning to swim because I can stand up whenever I want and there’s a lifeguard keeping us safe.
Don’t be afraid to go to a Master’s Swim Class. I’m a fraidy cat when it comes to swimming and have been amazed at how comfortable I am starting to feel in the water
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