Wednesday, July 11, 2007

learning to breathe

I took my second swimming lesson today. Jason, my coach, reviewed the strokes he had taught me last week (I'm learning the crawl) then we moved on to breathing. I had been doing it all wrong. While you'e moving through the water with your face down every few strokes you turn your head to the side, grab a quick breath and then put your face down again. You move much faster with your head down and in the water so the breaths should be quick and infrequent.

I knew that much from learning to swim as a kid. What I was doing wrong was trying to both exhale and inhale when my head was out of the water and then holding my breath once I turned my head down again. Big mistake. I wasn't getting enough air, and then I was stressing myself out by holding it in as I swam. Jason saw my problem and taught me to slowly exhale, through my nostrils while I'm swimming. Then one quick inhale with the head turned and back in the water. Instantly my swimming improved, particularly my stamina.

It's amazing how tiring stress can be. The whole key to spiritual health is to relax and work with the situation instead of battling against it. Swimming has always been so exhausting for me. Now, breathing more naturally, with a slow relaxed release of air, and sufficient time for a deep inhalation, I felt stronger and faster.

2 comments:

jfield said...

I'm still having trouble with this. I've gotten a lot better at keeping my head down but I still tend to spit out water before I breath.

The swim has become a struggle once again as we move from the pool to open water. Unfortunately I will miss our next chance for open water coaching at the lake because it will be on Sunday while I am doing RE.

Edward said...

Ed says, "You need to work to improve your stamina so that you don't breathe every other stroke but instead every fourth stroke".
This from the guy that just spent 10 days in a lawn chair...