I have always loved the water, but oddly enough have never learned to swim. I am pretty comfortable in depths where I can touch the bottom and when using a floatation device such as noodle beyond that. On a recent trip to Brazil I thoroughly enjoyed getting tossed around by the high surf (waves running up to 15 ft at times), primarily because my anxiety was kept relatively in check due to the general shallowness of the water. On a couple of occasions I have pushed myself to swim outside my comfort zone, in depths where I could not touch the bottom and without the aid of a flotation device. Although successful, it took a lot of effort and required me to keep moving at all times.
The problem, like with so many beginners, is that I get very tense and feel like I have to keep moving otherwise I feel as if I will sink. Unfortunately, I never learned the basics of floating nor how to execute a simple kick or stroke. Instead I flail about using all my energy but without really getting anywhere. Over a distance of a few meters that may work, but drop me in the middle of a lake and ask me to swim a half-mile to shore … not a chance!
Jess and I had discussed swimming lessons a while back and I looked around for opportunities. I eventually found an instructor whose rates were excellent and whose schedule matched mine. Following a cross training session last Thursday, I met him at the pool for an assessment and he proceeded to put me through my paces for an hour. He made the lesson very interesting and also helped my to feel extremely comfortable in the water, more so than I ever have in the past. Tomorrow is my first full lesson and I expect a thorough workout, so I am reducing my cross training and strength sessions to a minimum. I don’t want to over-train but will continue to work on my upper body strength with some weights until I can feel the swimming has a greater effect.