A reason to not get any better at swimming

By , March 30, 2018 7:27 am

Ha, the title is mostly a joke!

When I started swimming consistently a couple of years ago, I used techniques I remembered from learning to swim as a child. I started with breaststroke, and worked my way to freestyle.

For a long time, I had to focus so much on what I was doing, especially with breathing, that I didn’t think of anything else while swimming. I was zoned in 100% on my stroke and not inhaling water. It was a lovely meditation, and break from my own thoughts.

Now, the motions have become ingrained. It feels natural. It feels easy. My mind wanders. It’s no longer my meditation.

I miss that! Damn it, for getting more comfortable in the water. Ha!

Really though, those swimming moments are the ONLY time I can think of where my mind completely shut off and focused on the task at hand. The ONLY time. All my other workouts? My mind is all over the place!

I wonder if I worked harder at learning bilateral breathing, if that would let me meditate in the pool again, until I got better. Or if I talked to an actual swim coach and got some pointers on what my body should be doing, if focusing on THAT would get me back to the meditation. Because I’d like to find my way back to that feeling!

4 Responses to “A reason to not get any better at swimming”

  1. Ha, that is a good reason to not get better at swimming! 😛 I experience that probably 90% of the time when I’m running, and I think it’s one of the things I appreciate the most about running. I don’t really know why it happens, but I suspect it has to do with the fact that I have never been able to divorce my cadence and my breathing (inhale for three steps, exhale for two, unless I’m running harder. Than it’s inhale for two, exhale for two.). It’s not something I do consciously, but I really find it difficult to think about anything other than my breathing when I’m running (which can be annoying when I DO want to think through something and can’t because I keep going back to thinking about my breathing!). I hope you’re able to find something in swimming that helps you find that meditative quality again!

    • kilax says:

      Oh wow! That is awesome you get that out of running!!! Yay! And I hope I find it again too. I love zoning out like that (I would call it being in the flow, but flow is when you are doing something you’re good at so… ha!).

  2. Mica says:

    Does your mind wander during speed work (like short, painful intervals)? I wonder what it is about the focus of swimming (versus a challenging running workout) that made it feel so much more focused for you! My friends who have all had swim coaches or have taken lessons really speak highly of the experience. Does your pool offer coaching?

    • kilax says:

      During speedwork, I am very focused on breathing, form, and the song I am listening to. So it’s much more focused, but not in a relaxing way!

      I have actually seen some notes about swim lessons at my pool! I wonder if they are more “learn to swim so you don’t drown” or “work on technique.” Hmm.

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