August 18, 2014

Swimming Lessons


By Crabby McSlacker

OK, so regular readers may recall that:
  1. I recently hurt my back;
  2. I am hilariously inept at my physical therapy exercises and seem to be making little progress yet in the back-healing department;
  3. I've been bemoaning my lack of back-friendly exercise options and bitching about how I am getting less fit by the day;
  4. I discovered taking up swimming might be a feasible option; and,
  5. I have always loathed everything about swimming.
(A quick review? Let's see: apparel requirements; chlorine; my lack of natural floatiness or coordination; being forced to arrange breathing opportunities instead of snarfing up air any damn time I want to; and sharing a pool with other people. And of course most excruciatingly: having to initiate the activity by submerging myself voluntarily in cold nasty evil frigid wetness. Acck! For a warm-blooded mammal such as myself, this feels like a profoundly unnatural act).

Seriously, the only great thing about swimming is that eventually it is over with.

So, one might wonder, given my wonderful positive attitude towards the whole enterprise: how is the swimming thing going so far?  Can an Old Crab learn some New Tricks? And are there any tedious lessons said Old Crab can share from her experience?

1. Real Swimming Isn't As Fun As Lounging and Playing.

And so yeah, I left out the part about my pre-injury "aqua aerobics for cowards" experimentation in hotel pools a few times this year. Which, despite the wetness thing, was almost fun!

Dramatic reinactment: x-ray delta one

But splashing around aimlessly in a teensy little pool once every few months is not quite the same as "real" swimming. And unfortunately, I discovered that most of the bouncy jumpy runny leapy things I was messing around with don't work so well with a bad back.

So instead I decided to try swimming laps using actual strokes! Which, alas, I have always kinda sucked at and haven't attempted seriously in 4 decades. But yay me for doing something I am spectacularly bad at, right?

Anyway, now I am at a nearly official-sized pool instead of a tiny hotel pool. It doesn't look that big in the photo, nor can you tell that it's shaped like a pilgrim hat, but the Lobster who was a swimmer guessed it's about 20 yards long.


And those 20 yards feel like an eternity!

I find that to avoid complete psychological demoralization, breaststroke is the only stroke I can use if I want to get from one end to the other. And I can only stand about 10 laps of that at a time before wanting to shoot myself. With no firearms readily available, the only alternative is to then break it up by practicing freestyle by going from side to side.

If I try to go lengthwise using freestyle? Well, about 3/4 of the way to the end I start flailing in such an alarming way I fear it might compel one of the pretty gym queens sunning poolside to dive in to save me from drowning, thus mussing up his coiffure and interrupting his cocktail and forcing him to have to reapply sunscreen.  Best to avoid.

So yeah, it's about 95% breast-stroke and 5% tortured splashing in a form not much resembling freestyle.

(As to backstroke and butterfly? They can go f--ck themselves.  Seriously? These strokes need to exist? Way too hard for me to even contemplate at this point).


2. Things Have Changed Since I Learned to Swim Almost 50 Years Ago

Yep, they teach the fundamentals differently now. Given how rudimentary my skills, it would be kinda stubborn and clueless not to take the opportunity to relearn to swim the new-fangled way. Whip kicks for breast stroke? Bilateral breathing when doing freestyle? Can I really become "bi" this late in life? The bottom line is, I am pretty much starting from scratch.

On the plus side, the internet exists now!  So there are websites and videos and things to help me discover all the things I'm doing wrong.  One of many I found is Enjoy Swimming, the title of which seems outrageously optimistic at this point, but so far the content seems pretty helpful.

However, warning!  Googling "swimming videos" will lead you to the inevitable "swimming FAILS" sort of compilations. (Here's a "swimming pool fail" video from HuffPo, for example, but there are many more.) These are a total timesuck, because 3/4 of the clips are either excruciating to watch or kinda pointless or are cruelly humiliating... but a few are laugh-out-loud funny.  And yes, sometimes I am 12 years old.

3. Finding Appropriate Swimming Apparel and Accessories Can Be Frustrating


photo: Ming Xia

I actually have 2 viable swimsuits. Sort of.  One is getting pretty old and the Nike swoosh has mostly peeled off and looks like I dribbled toothpaste on it, and the other one has an annoying padded bra type thing which is stitched in and unremovable, yet is loose enough to shift around and fold up into amusing non-boob like configurations. So it's not a perfect situation, but at least I do have something to wear in the water.

The thing I'm currently struggling with though is goggles.  I am nearly blind without my contacts, so these are not optional.  I borrowed a pair of the small kind that smoosh up into your eyeballs, and they felt way too creepy, plus I had horrible racoon rings around my eyes for the rest of the day.

Then I bought a bigger pair online.  Way more comfortable! Slightly less racconish aftermath too, although there are still marks. But, alas, a bit leaky.  Anyone got any tips?




4. Getting into Cold Water Still Sucks, But Has An Upside

So when I've been mentioning to local friends and neighbors that I've been doing some swimming in the mornings at the Provincetown Inn, the universal response has been: "Really? But the water is SO COLD there!"

So it's not just me!  This helps enormously knowing that my tortured entry routine is is not just my wimpiness.

I can NOT just dive in. Maybe in warmer water, but I've discovered I need a compromise between one inch at a time and total brutal immersion, or I feel betrayed by the shocking cold and remain somewhat pissy for the rest of the swim. So here is my Semi-Cowardly Cold Water Immersion Alternative to Diving In Approach:

I walk quickly down the steps to waist level before I can talk myself out of it.


Then I congratulate myself heartily for getting that far, and walk around a little, trying to summon up courage for the next step.

When I am good and ready, I dip down to chest or shoulder level, feel newly horrified at the penetrating freezing-ass coldness, then spring right up again.  

When I have again recovered my will to live, I do a lap of breaststroke with my head up in the water. I wait until the second or even third lap before making myself get all the way wet.

But here's the thing I realized:  I suspect the only reason I can go swimming in a nearly empty pool in August in a popular summer resort is because I go first thing in the morning, and the water is cold.  

It's not like it's an unpopular destination! Here's the same pool one Bear Week afternoon:


And yes, I still totally dread getting in every single damn time I go, but it seems worth the trade-off in terms of a MUCH lower risk of suffocation by accidental chest-hair inhalation.  

5.  That Whole Annoying Trite Thing About Needing to Mix it Up Sometimes and Try New Activities is True!

The fact that I am starting something new, even though it's something hateful, is oddly energizing. While my poor wife has to listen to me prattling on about every tiny insufferable detail of the Huge Dramatic Obstacles I am facing and my Incredible Bravery and Resilience and Resourcefulness in attempting to overcome them... well, that's what patient and wonderful spouses are for, right? Yet another thing to be thankful for.

(And the same goes for patient and wonderful blog readers!)

Anyone got any swimming tips or tales? Anyone else trying to do something new they kinda suck at?  

58 comments:

  1. Try a diving mask, Crabby. I am scared of water more than chest deep and cannot swim worth toffee. But I am much more at ease with my nose and eyes covered and even did some snorkeling 20 years ago. I dog paddled with the fishies in Cancun, but, because I wasn't wearing my glasses, I angled away from the group and the boat.
    I panicked, failed, touched some coral for which to this day I am mortified, thought I was going to die, relax and dog-paddled back to the boat.
    Without the diving mask I never would have gotten in the water.
    That's my story.

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    1. There were several swimmers who wore the diving mask/snorkel while doing laps at the pool back when I was there. I talked to one who swore everything, from that whole "breathing while swimming" thing to seeing w/o getting water in your eyes, was much easier.

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    2. I was actually going to recommend a diving mask too! I have only used them for diving and snorkeling, but why not actual swimming?

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    3. OK, for ocean swimming, sure, not that I am willing to attempt it anywhere but a tropical island, but somehow I can NOT bring myself to do the mask and snorkel thing to the pool. My dorkiness quotient is already pretty high! :) I kinda wanna grow up to be a "real" swimmer and somehow prefer to flail quite a bit rather than admit defeat and bring in breathing aids. And as I recall, my diving mask, besides being on the wrong coast, also leaked. :(

      But thanks for the idea you guys! And if you were all to show up at my pool with masks and snorkels maybe I'd think about joining you!

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  2. When I was a kid, we used to camp at a lake every summer for a week or two, and my sister and I would swim all day long. Funny how much more difficult it seems as an adult. I've never had any lessons either, so I suppose I never learned the proper way.

    I don't like swimming with my face in the water (also blind without contacts + I don't like water up my nose), but previous commenters have reminded me that during those days spent in the lake, I loved swimming with a mask and snorkel. You can see where you are going and you can breathe!

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    1. Isn't it weird how much easier it all seemed when we were little? Same thing for monkey bars, and have you ever tried 'em as an adult? Acck!

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  3. "Can I really become "bi" this late in life?"

    I totally LOLed at this.

    When I started swimming a couple of years ago, it was a total disaster. I had signed up for a triathlon and was putting off the swim until finally my husband was like, "I am going to make you train because I do not want you to die." We went down to the condo pool, which was seriously like 40 feet long, and I think I made it about halfway across a length of the pool before I got out of breath and had to stand up.

    Now I go about twice a week and usually I manage to swim about a mile (and I actually enjoy it a lot!), but getting to this point was pretty effin' ugly.

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    1. Wow, you are so damn fit now and doing Tri's and everything Caitlin... it's inspiring to hear you once were a flailer like me!

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  4. This sounds so much like me when I am describing running or stair climbing!! Thankfully running has never been identified as a cure for any injury! Yeah!!
    I used to teach swimming and the big rule for muscular people is you need to relax and get some speed up or you are mostly just fighting to stay afloat. Small flippers are pretty easy to control and could give you that speed on freestyle. They are useless with breast stroke unless you buy the special ones made for breast stroke. If you get snorkeling or scuba diving flippers you may find them frustratingly difficult to use as the fins are larger. Flippers make back crawl and butterfly easier as well. You can also swim on you back with no arm motion. I like to do this one but I drop my butt so I can watch my legs and then I play around with making big kicks and small fast kicks. Anyway please know I feel for you 'cause I am not going jogging no matter how many suggestions people give me about how great it could be!

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    1. Cindy, I'd love to pretend my sinking like a stone is because I'm muscular! But I do feel like I almost have to get into anaerobic territory to go fast enough to keep from sinking. Maybe the whole "relax" thing needs some work... :)

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  5. Oh, I so wish I could swim regularly. Unfortunately it's a 40 minute drive each way to the nearest decent lap pool. (boo.)

    I can't help on masks. I hate them. It feels like my eyeballs are going to pop out. I just wear my glasses to the pool side and then go blind in the water. *shrug* I can see well enough to stay in my lane and not bash my head on the wall.

    My other favorite (back when I did swim a lot) is a kickboard. You can use it to focus on your legs, or stick it between your legs and focus on your arms. And hell, you can go to Target right now and find a Little Mermaid or Spiderman one for dirt cheap on summer clearance. I had a pretty decent routine involving breaststroke, free-style, the kickboard, and a bit of backstroke (without the arms) for a rest lap.

    One other thing - I hear tell there are new fancy headphones and cases that let you take your mp3 player in the water. THAT would make swimming longer than 20 minutes much more tolerable!

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    1. Great idea bdaiss to get a kids kickboard for cheap!

      And I'm already coveting some sort of mp3 thing, but I feel like I need to get at least a few months in before starting to buy a bunch of stuff. And we head off to Europe later this week, so it will be another month before I can see if this sticks. But so far, so good, and if I can get back into it, I'm so gonna figure out how to add some tunes!

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  6. Death Ride GrandmaAugust 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    We used to live in the water during the summer, and I just loved it. Now, swimming is the only thing that keeps me from considering triathlons. Now, I am not too sure what it would take to get me into a pool. Oh - actually, I am. When we rode our bikes 80 miles one day, and finished up at a motel with a pool, and the temperature outside was 102, I got right in. Otherwise - well, good for you! I am lost in admiration.

    So obviously I don't know a thing about goggles. However, I will get in the ocean if 1) it's good and warm, and 2) there are plenty of beautiful fish and sea creatures, so I agree that a regular mask and snorkel really take a lot of the annoyance out of swimming. Embarrassing to admit, but I actually wear a wetsuit to snorkel - in Hawaii. If you put on a wetsuit jacket or shorty, it might ease the entry into the pool. Just let people think you're practicing for a big scuba experience or something.

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    1. Yeah, the breathing part of swimming is not the same as running or biking so it does take time to learn that. Interestingly, the good swimmers used to rule the Tri, but not so much now as the new breed have no weaknesses.

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    2. I'm like you DRG, the only time I'll do ocean swimming is in Hawaii or similar climes, and even then I opted for a shorty when we went on a snorkeling expedition.

      But I'll be switching pools in the fall anyway, so rather than spring for new equipment to keep me warm, I'll probably just suffer and whine instead--totally my comfort zone. (The whining, not the cold water!)

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    3. Surely whining must have aerobic benefits.
      I was going to suggest a wetsuit, too, and am now wondering whether I could afford one myself someday. If I have to wear clothes in the pool anyway, why not be warm?

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  7. When i was a kid, i swam quite a lot. Now i don't get into chlorine water on principal, but if there were a pool i could access that used the new UV filtration that doesn't require any chemicals, i'd be in it so fast i'd scare people.

    It's running and jogging and even walking that bug me, probably because i'd always rather be reading. So i try to do those, at least some, often enough to feel that i've tried.

    My tip for swim suits is a nice pair of shorts, good athletic bra and two t-shirts over it. Yes, on the rare occasion that i find one of those elusive pools with no chemicals, that's how i swim. It slows me down, but my point is to have fun doing movement i enjoy, not set a world record.

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    1. Messymimi, good point, I should probably try to avoid chlorine as well, at least when I've discovered more options. Although hmm, this pool doesn't smell a lot like chlorine, I wonder if there's any chance they use something newfangled? Or maybe I'm in such shock from the cold water I can't smell anything!

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    2. You don't usually smell the chlorine unless a chemical reaction has been activated by uhm ... You know! Early in the morning it probably would have little smell and would not burn your eyes.

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    3. Cindy, I walked by the pool last night on a ramble and I could definitely smell chlorine, which means they either add it at night or it had recently been "activated!". Oh well!

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  8. Swimming can be a nice thing to do. When you get comfortable in the water it really does feel good. It's really very sensuous. Just put the time in that you need. Get some lessons if you need that. Find a warmer pool, and some pools are not chlorinated the same old way. Wear a swim cap and use conditioner before swimming to protect your hair. There are special shampoos to help with that. Yes, you can wear a snorkel and mask, but come on, you can do better than that! Do freestyle and learn to breath on both sides, every third stroke, do not hold your breath, blow out the air continuously till your next breath, pull all the way back to your thighs with each stroke. This is your chance to learn a new skill and you will be glad you did. Trust me on this.

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    1. Great advice Dr. J, and I hadn't been thinking about protecting my hair! But I figure it'll grow back if anything weird happens to it.

      And yeah, am trying the bilateral breathing, but kinda struggling with the 6 beat kick and putting it all together without drowning. But I agree, I'm trying to learn this stuff with proper form this time--slower but I think it will pay off.

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  9. I'm the exact same way about getting into a cold pool, every single step! LOL

    At least you're getting in there and you're trying - big points for even doing that!

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    1. Oh good Courtney, glad I'm not the only "the hell with diving in" type person out there!

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    2. It used to work for me as a kid, but as an adult, instant submersion in cold water has an effect of "Can I start breathing again before I drown?"

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  10. Bungee cord straps for your goggles. If you don't have them, get them. Best $5 you will spend- and will make the whole experience a smudge more tolerable- that's how great they are! Good luck!

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  11. bungee cord straps? Have never heard of this, thanks Julia! WIll google for instructions/ideas. Goggle googling, my new pastime!

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    1. Check out Amazon- best prices! Because you can easily adjust them you get the right fit each time you put them on. My 10 yr old (on the swim team) says to tell you to just get them and then go swim! She was NOT fond of our cold summer and jumping into cold pools at only 48-deg! My normally sweet girl is trash - talking that if she- a KID- can do it, then you can too! Haha

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  12. Are you saying that Crabby doesn't swim in the ocean? My grandfather, "The Captain" swam in Boston Bay-- side stroke, head out of the water--well into his eighties. He was a better man than I, though, I gave that sh*t up years ago. We used to love going down the Cape for the warm water!

    I wonder if you could borrow a shorty wetsuit? It would keep you warmer and more floaty.

    LynM

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    1. Lyn, ya got me, I'm really not much of an ocean swimmer, waves scare me, (and theres the cold water, even if to you it was warm) ! But maybe if I master cold pools first, next year will be the year of the ocean!

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  13. I HATE swimming!! The fact that you are gearing up and getting in that water is huge - then to actually put your head down and swim?! Way to go!!! I hope that you are feeling better about getting some fitness and still letting your back heal.
    And, the contact thing? That was my "out" for swimming, water skiing.....for years - then I had LASIK!!! (I highly recommend it!)

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    1. Seems funny to me that even YOU can hate swimming Kim because I think of you as invincible and capable of tackling all things sporty! Somehow that makes me fee much better!

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  14. This seems like a fun time for me to share my swimming story. When I was little, we lived about two blocks away from a swimming school, so every summer my parents put me in lessons. The method they used to teach us how to swim & breathe at the same time is something I will call "one two bubbles breathe" because that's the guidance they gave.

    One - one arm goes around
    Two - the other arm goes around
    Bubbles - exhale under water
    Breathe - tilt your head up out of the water and breathe

    And then immediately repeat.

    The instructors would walk along the pool as we swam chanting "one, two, bubbles breathe!" It became our family's catch phrase any time we talked about swimming.

    Maybe 5 years ago when I took some time off running for a foot injury, I decided to swim laps at the gym. (despite my lessons I have never actually swam laps for exercise - I was desperate) First, I learned that it was HARD. I initially couldn't get all the way across the pool without stopping to catch my breath. Second, I found it literally impossible to swim without repeating to myself over and over and over and over "ONE TWO BUBBLES BREATHE."

    That's still how I swim to this day.

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    1. Too funny about the little chant OTF, but I totally understand the need for one! My current problem is a total inability to time the flutter kick with the arm strokes, I was just going randomly but I read something about a 6 beat kick which made sense, in theory... I just can't seem to do it!

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  15. I just completed my 9th swim from Alcatraz and love open water swimming! I am jealous that your have cold pools to swim in. I was making deals with our pool cleaner this a.m. to turn down the temps to below 80 as our complex pool is about 84 which is way too warm when you are training to swim in ocean water. Try speedo vanquisher goggles. They don't have to be tight to work- I have never had them leak! Tip- get your body position correct before you even start to try any kind of stroke-practice pushing off the wall and glide and make sure your hips/legs aren't sinking. You will learn to love it...maybe. I sure do! Such a great whole-body exercise! Hang in there.

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    1. OMG waterironair, you swim from ALcatraz on a regular basis?!?!??!

      Thanks so much for the advice on body position, I suspect mine is off (thus my tendency to sink like a box of bowling balls) and will try the wall glide!

      And my goggles are the kayennes, which I think are supposed to similar to the vanquisher, but I'm thinking after I've swum enough to "earn" a new pair, will try those!

      And hey, if you're still around--do you use an mp3 player, and if so, what kind?

      THanks for stopping by!

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  16. I am so not wanting to swim due to my vainness with my crazy hair! I would if I had no choice though for exercise. :) Hawaii is more fun! :)

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    1. Funny about the hair issue Jody, never thought of that! Me being a butch lil thing with short straight hair, I don't much have to worry about it!

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  17. The material the mask is made of makes a huge difference..more expensive soft, for some reason black is usually softer than clear, silicone, won't leave such bad marks post swim. And get a wet suit! Best coverage swimsuit ever and sunscreen, my current fav right now is a longsleeve one with a back zip, and short legs by body glove. And really once you have goggles on you are already past cool, so wear a wetsuit and use a snorkle if you want, and everyone sitting on the sidelines judging can suck it, cause you are the one out there actually doing something.

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    1. AA, thanks for the tips! And as I recall, you're a Hawaii gal, right? Would sure like to go swimming again in your neck of the woods, that would be hella motivation for getting to be a better swimmer!

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  18. i'm not so keen for swimming too. but if it helps you should do it. just bear with it. you are getting there!

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    1. thanks sophie, i appreciate the encouragement!

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  19. OMG I am dying over here!!! You are too much!! I have to say that I hate getting in the pool as well (and mine is a friggin heated YMCA pool!) so I just dive in. When I first started I couldn't breathe either but it definitely gets better and it really is awesome cross-training. Keep these coming - I can't wait to see what an expert swimmer you become!! :-)

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    1. Allie, you are such a freakin' inspiration, as I suspect there's nothing you can't do, so I will just hope to approach swimming with 1/100th of your kickass determination and if I can manage that I suspect I'll do great!

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  20. I had serious goggle troubles too. This one is great!
    http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G1MN8JG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Good Luck! And keep on swimming; your back will love you :)

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    1. Oh wow, those goggles sound perfect, all about comfort, thank you Genie!

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  21. Hi Crabby, I am currently learning how to do the front crawl and just finished my second private lesson (I signed up for 3 lessons, each a month apart so I have time to practice). Here are the tips I have gathered so far, in case they are helpful.
    Drills:
    1. Flutter kick with flutter board
    2. flutter kick without flutter board (kick rapidly, close the to the water surface)
    3. Side glide with kick and board
    4. side glide with kick but without board and arm at surface of water. glue your ear to the outstretched arm.
    5. With flutter board, front glide to side glide, remember to glue that ear during the side glide.
    6. same as 5, but no flutter board
    7. standing in the water, practice 3 arm pulls then a breath to get used to the motion.
    8. Front crawl
    Remember to blow bubbles in the water through your nose as you breath out.
    When you take your breath, really turn your head to the side, don't lift it up forward.
    Keep the elbow up for the arm pull, dragging the arm in the water forward slows your down.
    Don't go too fast, this will tire you out and your form will fall apart. when learning, better to do one length (or 10 feet) with good form and then rest up for next segment. people tend to go too fast with their arms because they are anxious to take their next breath.
    Best wishes, Phoebe

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    1. Phoebe! Thank you so much, this is really helpful! And you know? When I get back from traveling, lessons might not be a bad idea!

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  22. I love swimming and grew up swimming, playing water polo, and doing synchronized swimming! It's funny how you complain about the cold- I took up running in the last two years, and I can't get over the heat! Similarly, I've always hated to recover out of the water- that panting feeling where your chest is heaving- it's so much nicer to float in cool water when you're out of breath and your heart rate is up. So there are a few pluses for swimming for you. Maybe we could do some swim lessons when you're back in San Diego? (I'm teaching a few of my coworkers' kids to swim right now, and I've been teaching/coaching since... forever? including adults!)

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    1. Swim lessons? That would be AWESOME!!!! Seriously, if by fall you're not going "WTF was I thinking offering to help coach that Crabby person, I hope she doesn't remember I said that..." I would love, love, love, love to take you up on that. I'm thinking about maybe the Morley Field pool but you may know of other better options, but wherever, whenever, I'm there!!

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    2. Embarrassingly, I haven't been to a public pool in San Diego yet (I usually just hang out in my coworker's backyard pool), but I'd be up for that. Is that the one in Balboa Park? Another friend has been trying to get me to go there and it just hasn't worked out yet. I'll have to scope it out before you return. But, yes, I love teaching, so feel free to call me on my offer!

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    3. Yes, the East Side of Balboa Park but I'd go anywhere you wanted, thanks so much HH and look forward to taking you up on that!

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  23. LAUGHED OUT LOUD about the only great thing is it's over with.

    I love swimming. I have the prep and the after too.
    with a bigasspassion.

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    1. I'm the opposite Carla, it's the SWIMMING part I could happily skip!

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  24. I envy you that pool! When we were planning our move to this town, I was thrilled to discover that there is a fitness place not far away that has a saltwater pool for swimming laps. I was going to join just for the pool! I went to check it out on a pre-move visit to town. The water was like bath-water, very VERY warm. I would be sweating while I was swimming (hmmm, maybe the saltwater is just from everyone sweating...). After I got home, I got word that the pool had had a problem for a while and had been fixed. Ah, so that was it! After the move, I went back to feel the water...still very warm. Sigh. So no swimming.

    I am blind as a bat but wear glasses. I got some goggles with my prescription (no need for Rx, you can get them online if you know the correction factor) so a least I could avoid bumping into people in the water while doing laps (back when I had a normal pool to swim in).

    Those long laps can wear you out. I counted how many strokes it took me to complete one and then at least while I was swimming it I had a notion of how much farther--I was inspired by being able to count down the strokes.

    God, I miss swimming.

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    1. Oh shoot Peggy, hope you find a great pool someday, and yes, I should count my blessings because I'd so much rather freeze my ass off for a few minutes than be hot for a whole workout!

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  25. I am stuck on "5. I have always loathed everything about swimming." I love swimming so much that I just can't get past it.

    Had a great time this week swimming in a super cold, deep, deep lake! LOL!

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  26. I really love swimming, I just wish I had a private pool. It's hard to swim laps in any kind of crowded pool, plus there's the dues. The lakes near me are all full of duck droppings and a myriad of other nastiness, so that's out, leaving the public pools the only option. For people who are disgusted by their own sweat (and oh yes, that's a thing) swimming is exactly the answer. Can't feel it when you're surrounded by nice cool water!

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