May 21, 2013

Swimming Lessons Day 6: Learning to Back Float

On day 6, we decided to come to class a couple of hours earlier. We were hoping we would be allowed to practice before our actual class. We sat by the sides of the pool for a while as we watched more advanced swimmers dive, tread, do laps on the deep end of the pool. On the shallow end, there were about 10 kids having lessons with our instructor and it was the first time we saw her actually in the pool. Alright, I am now at peace knowing she can actually swim lol!

After about 20 minutes of watching the pool scene, Ma'am Bel, our instructor spotted us and told us to get dressed and jump in the pool while she's still there. She was going to teach us something before she gets out of the water. Uh-oh, my heart was doing flip-flops but we hurried on to get changed.


Once in the pool, she announced that this time we have to learn how to do back floating, or the opposite of the front crawl.  If there was a camera and you zoom it on my face, you'll never fail to see the terror in my eyes.  Of course, with my goggles on and mustering the poker face in front of everyone else, I look like any student ready to learn something new.  My insides tell me otherwise.

Anyway, when she told me to hold the gutter and tuck my knees up with my feet resting on the tiles just below where my hand was clutching the gutter, I did just that.  Although, I'm not sure how willing I am to kick and let go of the gutter.  I was unsure of how I would stand up if I sink in that position.  Good thing that Ma'am Bel was holding the back of my head, coaxing me to relax, make my body straighter.  Finally, I was floating but with her hand still holding my head.  She told me to flutter kick and then slowly, she let go of my head....and slowly I began to sink.  And there you have me flailing my arms again as I struggle to be upright.

When I finally managed to stand up and not drown myself in shallow waters, she told me how to do it properly.  Okay, I have to make a big blunder before being told there's a more dignified way of doing things hahaha!  After that, she left us on our own to practice.  


During the time I was learning to do the front crawl and even the breaststroke, I was blaming my belly for making me sink, after all, that is the center of gravity.  Now that I am doing the back floating, I am blaming my butt for making me sink.  I had to do several attempts before I finally floated properly.  The key is proper body alignment, and again to relax.  When I was sinking, it was because my back was curved.  I had to visualize like I'm lying in bed.  It was a struggle knowing it's not a solid bed and there's water sloshing  at the sides of my face, threatening to engulf me.  At some point, my instructor told me I could breathe while doing that.  Silly me, I was so used to holding my breath that I must have forgotten my nose and mouth were still above the waterline.  

If I found breaststroke and frog kick relaxing, back floating is even more relaxing once I learned to do it properly.  I even attempted to do the hand movements that you can see on the video above.  I managed 4 strokes before I sank.  Even then, I am no longer afraid to do this and after a while, I don't even need to kick the side of the pool or hold on to the gutter first.  I can actually float anywhere on the pool.

Alright!  I think I deserve a star stamped on the back of my hand for a good job, huh?

Also in this series:




46 comments:

  1. Nice to see your progress in swimming.

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  2. Natawa naman ako when you confirmed your swim teacher knows how to swim. Meron kayang ganun, teaching swimming but doesn't actually know how :) I think I need to enroll my daughter for swimming. Been trying to teach her myself para tipid but she doesn't listen.

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  3. Back when I was a teenager, my cousins managed to teach me how to float on my back. I remember loving it so much because I felt so relaxed just floating on the water and staring at the sky. I've since forgotten how to do that but would love to learn again. :-)

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  4. Wow your a great example of it's never too late for anyone to learn!

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  5. wow, galing!
    t's nice to be here every week to check your headway...

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  6. good job! i seriously think i'm the only one now who doesn't know how to swim...

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  7. Great job A ! I really should enroll myself in swimming lessons before next summer is over. Reading your posts and your progress is enough proof that it is never too late to learn a challenging sport.

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  8. Never too late talaga, Ms. Sarah.

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  9. Of course not sis...according to Wiki Answers, it's a staggering 54% of people worldwide don't know how to swim. Give or take a few percent for accuracy, that is still a significant figure...we are not alone :-)

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  10. Fave ko na yan ngayon. In fact, that is always first on my warm up...if I start with free style and even breaststroke, my abs hurt...tension pain I guess...So from now on I start with back stroke. :-)

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  11. Ah yes, it is such a comfort to know that my instructor has both head and practical knowledge about swimming. Hahaha siguro panay reason out ni Via...maybe she needs an instructor nga talaga.

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  12. Nice sis. Naamaze ako talaga sa marunong magswim lalo na yang floating na yan. Have you heard of Zumba sa pool? I am not sure for the right name but they are dancing in a pool. :)


    Mommy Maye

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  13. It pays talaga to know the strokes the right way and with an instructor's guidance. Good job :D This skill is something I wish to learn then.

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  14. good job! The video is really nice and it shows a lot!! I wish. ako din..:)

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  15. now, I am starting to envy you.. i really hope i will have enough courage to learn how to swim

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  16. I think it's the only stroke I know, it's the only stroke I pretend to know actually.hehe

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  17. good to hear that you are progressing well in your swimming lesson.. I'm sure you be able to swim without a float in no time

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  18. I give you three stars! Yay! Floating is also something I love doing. When I have a headache, floating on my back helps ease it. It is quite relaxing. But backstroke is another thing, nakakapagod din sa arms. :)

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  19. yey! good for you! you came a long way already! keep it up =)

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  20. I love floating, but if nagugulat ako i will break my float and papasok ang tubig sa ears ko which i really hate

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  21. wow, progressing...buti ka pa!

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  22. That's great! You deserve not one, but three stars for this achievement! :)

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  23. Yes you do! Good job Ms. Aileen! 5 stars for you:)

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  24. Good job! That's the only thing I know how to do, but not the proper way. That's how I try to relax at a pool, I can backfloat but I am afraid to put my face down on the water.

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  25. My heart was also thumping when I read your post. Buti na lang comic relief yung beginning! You mean the instructor was never in the water since day 1?

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  26. Back float is so relaxing, I could fall asleep, I just need to remember to keep my butt up, hehe!

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  27. My boyfriend is trying to teach me backfloat pero wala pa rin.. I think I need to get some lessons too! :(

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  28. that's the most I could do, backfloat, after that, wala na. parang ang hirap talaga magswimming, huhu. hope i could learn it too. congrats for a job well done, sis. i am sure you'll learn how to swim in no time. anyway, i was also surprised to find out that your instructor was never in the water until this post. :-)

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  29. Way to go! I can do backfloat easily when in the sea (beach). LOL

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  30. I badly want to swim like this. How I wish I can be tutorized even at my not so young age.

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  31. Yes sis, Aqua Zumba yun but you don't actually swim. You exercise submerged up to waist or chest level lang...and you do the Zumba dance there. No swimming involved hehehe

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  32. Yes, that's her method...I don't know about other instructors but her style works for me. Besides, I now understand why....she can see us better when she's out of the water...so she can coach us.

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  33. Ay that's it nga.

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  34. Always go lang nang go sis! Truly of there's a will there's a way. :)

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  35. Definitely deserve a star! Great job on being committed to learning!

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  36. Nice one! May be I should take swimming lessons too.. I just learned to float and swim "like a dog" on my own.. or better yet learned to survive after my Tito threw me on the pool when I was young! x_X

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  37. Hey because of this, I called up a swimming teacher and we are scheduling my swimming lessons. I want to improve my strokes! hahaha [CommEx 2]

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  38. How long will this swimming lesson will last? Hope you did well on all the strokes.

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  39. that was a very good video btw :)

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  40. well done...go, go, go!

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  41. I love the video! very well done!:) good job, Aileen:)

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  42. So proud and super inggit of what you have accomplished sis! Galing! I still have to get my running mojo back. I try to run 6K sa treadmill everyday, but I get soo bored...mas masarap kumain hehe.(Hey, maybe you would like to relax and read! email me your wishlist ;) )

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  43. Buti ka pa. I hope I could at least learn to back float. Great job!

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  44. I love doing the back float. It's like your having a great time on the watering plus looking at the clear blue sky. I'm a bummer doing back strokes. hehehe. Nice learning!

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  45. I dont know how to swim but watching the video makes me want to learn swimming

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  46. Uy I didn't know you went swimming pala. I learned how to swim back during summer in 1st year high school. A friend convinced me to join their summer swimming lesson. Unfortunately, I got a cold and was absent for one session. And the problem is during my absence, they taught my peers to do butterfly stroke and diving. Kumusta naman diba? So there, plakda ako mag dive and I don't do butterfly stroke either. But I'm glad that by the end of the session, I learned how to swim alone even in deep water so the SR500 that my father spent for that summer was worth it :)

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