Posts Tagged ‘worst swimmer in the world’

When I was little, I took swimming lessons. I’m not sure that I was forced, but I do believe that the lessons were highly encouraged by my mother. As far as I remember, I didn’t particularly enjoy them, but I don’t think I minded them much either.

Until I reached the glass ceiling of swimming lessons.

What’s the glass ceiling, you ask?

Rhythmic breathing. You know, putting your face in the water, and taking it out to breathe every once in awhile? That?

Yep. Couldn’t do it. It was the glass ceiling of my swimming career.

I remember sitting on the side of the pool next to my swimming instructor catching my breath after my failed attempts to rhythmic breathe.

I failed the same swimming class twice (due to my inability to rhythmic breathe) before my mother finally let me quit lessons. I guess she realized that I just wasn’t moving on up in the swimming world.

This swimming glass ceiling hasn’t bothered me much in my adult life. While in Minnesota I still managed to waterski, and while in Southern California I still managed to surf. So though I’m not a strong swimmer, I was comfortable enough in the water to survive watersports when living in places where watersports are important.

Who knew that my lack of swimming skills would become particularly problematic in Washington State…the only place I’ve ever lived where watersports are not a somewhat large part of the culture? Weird.

Because of my shin injury, I’m trying to swim laps. (Since it’s exercise that doesn’t hurt my shins). Perfect. Well, you know, except for the fact that I can’t breathe when I swim, and I can’t live if I don’t breathe. It’s somewhat of a cyclical problem.

Our first day at the gym, equipped with goggles and a willing attitude, I asked Husband Saign to teach me.

He got me so that I could go underwater without using my hand to plug my nose, which is a noticeable improvement.

And, I can swim about 1/3 of the (1/2 Olympic size) pool doing the breaststroke before I must stop to catch up on my breathing. Impressed yet?

Thankfully there’s a section of the pool blocked off for slow people who might stop-and-start, so I don’t have to swim legitimate laps. I just have to make sure that I never go to the pool during water aerobics, since then the slow-and-erratic lane will be in use and I’ll have to share the lanes with the big boys!

Here’s looking at you, Michael Phelps. Soon enough I might be able to swim a whole lap without stopping!

Do you swim? How do you choose how many laps to do and what stroke to do for your workout? Any swimming tips for me?


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