My Quixotic Swimming Log

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My Quixotic Swimming Log

Postby jamesndawson » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:56 am

I'm an adult male trying to learn to swim. I used to write a blog on a beginners swimming site called Unfortunately, after a long period of inactivity and creator neglect, it completely shut down, and all my entries were lost. I've decided to try to start a new one on this forum. As the title indicates, my efforts to learn how to swim have had very little success. Sometimes I wonder if I should even keep trying, but for now, I am. On this blog I'll record my hopes, fears, struggles, and hopefully, whatever small victories I have in trying to learn to swim. My goals at this point are very modest.

I've taken several adult swim classes at the Central YMCA since about 2013. I improved quite a bit. When I started I was terrified of the water. My anxiety has gone way down since then, but I'm far from fearless. I'm not sure how much further swim lessons would help me. I think I've tried the patience of all the teachers.

I can kickboard and do a few feet of of very crude and clumsy freestyle without a flotation belt, and about half a pool's length with one, but I tend to lose what little rhythm I have in these, start to panic, and "crash".

Here are my main obstacles:

1. I can't float or tread water without a flotation belt. I've been told by different teachers that this is because I'm too lean and muscular. Others have told me my failure to float is mental. I continue to try, and one teacher told me I was doing a front float, but it felt to me like I'm pretty much submerged. I've been told by a few teachers and have read on the Net, that it's impossible to learn to swim if you can't tread water or float, but other teachers, mostly male, have told me they can't float either, yet they swim well. Maybe I need to learn their strategy, whatever it is.

2. Back float phobia. I have back swam with a float belt and a kickboard, even going down to the deep end that way, but being on my back gives me high anxiety and I have a tendency to feel out of control and impulsively struggle to get upright, which I don't do smoothly. I often feel like I'm going to tip over backward, headfirst. My teachers tell me this is an illusion and that it's impossible.

3. Deep end phobia. I have gone down to the deep end with a flotation belt, with and without a kickboard, but since I can't tread water or float, I wouldn't dare try that without one. In my practice, I carefully stay in the area I can stand in. I want to try to get down to the deep end more often too overcome my fear of it. I've done this, but when I go for long periods out of the pool, my confidence wears off.

I thought if I had somebody to prod, encourage, and coach me a little, I might move forward in my goals a little, and I might feel a little less self-conscious flailing around in the open swim pool all by myself. (I probably make the lifeguards nervous.) I'm thinking maybe one day a week. I'm self-employed, so just about any time during open swim hours would work for me.

My long-term goal would be to freestyle the length of the pool and back, at least once, WITHOUT A FLOTATION BELT OR KICKBOARD, but if that's even possible, it'd be quite a ways down the road.
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Re: My Quixotic Swimming Log

Postby athlegan » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:41 pm

For what it's worth I think this is an AWESOME project. Makes me wonder what kind of skills that I'm missing myself that I want to acquire. :) That kind of endeavour takes guts!
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