whistleBelieve it or not, this is not a post about bicycle riding. It’s about the magic of coaches. If you know one, or you have the good luck to be under the tutelage of one, make sure you let them know they are appreciated. It’s beenĀ a long timeĀ since I’ve had a coach, which was way back when I was a hockey player in my youth. I’ve been trying to learn some new skills and was packed off to a coach for some lessons.

I’ve hit the pool and found some determination to improve my swimming. I may have also made the outlandish statement to my better half, that I would be a better swimmer than her in 5 years. It would have been handy to blame alcohol for such trash talk, but I can’t blame anyone but myself. My partner’s response was a classic, “And yeah, I’ll be a better bike rider than you”. This upset all sorts of notions I have about my self identity, so I quietly left the scene of my crimes.

Like all Aussie kids growing up by the beach, I had my fair share of swimming lessons, so I know the basics. Jumping back into the pool after a long time absence, I was surprised at how hard I was finding it. I seemed to tire far too quickly, and wasn’t having much fun. My partner sent me off to see one of her mates who is a swim and run coach. I felt like I was going back to school.

I’ve just finished a 6 week block of weekly visits and my improvements have surprised me. It’s been such a wonderful exercise. I’ve really enjoyed the process of having a coach. it has provided me with a lot to think about from the technical aspects of swimming and having the stroke broken down into it’s parts definitely appeals to the biomechanist in me. The drills that were assigned to me also provided some good structure to my swims during the week and were positively reinforcing my general improvements in the pool.

JB has done a wonderful job sorting out a few basic things for me to work on and my swimming has gone from seeing me puffed after 100m to be able to roll out a 3k session. I’d certainly encourage anyone to find a new activity every now and then. Trying something new can benefit all sorts of aspects of your life. It doesn’t have to be exercise related, this post could just as well be about pottery (now that gives me a good idea…)

Swimming has certainly improved my posture, and I can feel my core getting stronger because of it. I’m becoming more aware of maintaining symmetry in motion. As much as getting strong core muscles sounds like a cliche, it has a lot of truth to it. It would be remiss of me not to mention cycling, so I will sneakily mention that swimming is also helping my posture on the bike…

Thanks JB, you’ve done a stellar job.

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