Week 3 – 20m down, 3980 to go


When you read about swimming free style, there is a lot of discussion about smoothness and balance. When I swim free style the water looks anything but smooth.

My body is flopping around, my arms creating drag and interference at every possible moment.

And I keep reading this whole smooth and balance thing and all I can think is – damn. It’s like runners high. There is no such thing as smooth swimming. Until I see this dude and…

And I feel worse. It’s like watching someone who can dance, dance just after you think it’s impossible. It feels like Luke Skywalker being schooled by Yoda in Dagobah after he fails to use the force to free his star ship from the swamp.


And I am thinking, this, this kind of beautiful swimming is so far out of my reach it might as well be from another species.

But once you see something is possible, there is this bit that flips, and you think – okay there is something there that I can strive for. So back to the pool, back to doing the work. And I start doing research on the perfect stroke, on the concept of weightless arms, of rotation and of using your chest as a buoy…

And then for about 20 meters, I am able to get all of this to work. My head is in the right position, my arms move in the right way, my hips rotate and it feels different. I mean, it actually feels like a different body is swimming through water, and then the turbulence takes over.

So it’s like riding a bike. It takes a while to get all of the pieces in place, and then you just have to build on it.

Obviously, I don’t have the physical strength and technique to swim 3980 meters perfectly, but I do have the strength to do 20m – not perfectly but at least with less turbulence. So we have a start. And that start, at this moment is all that matters…


2 thoughts on “Week 3 – 20m down, 3980 to go

  1. Molly

    I think this is why we all should have started swimming as children…we have so much trouble thinking about all the little technique points as adults and it’s overwhelming! I totally get overwhelmed in my head too, trying to get it all right. I was lucky to work with someone last year who gave me a different little focus point every week and I integrated stroke changes very slowly until they became rote. It’s all about the muscle memory…

    You will get there!!! Hopefully you aren’t too overwhemed in volume to focus on the technique stuff now when you have the time. And hopefully your next week is a rest week!!!

  2. kostadis roussos Post author

    Unfortunately I started swimming as a child. And then I had several years of remedial swim training at the YMCA. Unfortunately at the time the need to roll, etc were not the state of the art of swimming technique… So basically I am re-training after a lifetime of swimming with an archaic technique…


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