May 17, 2013

Day 4 and 5: Front Crawl Drill, Breast Stroke and Frog Kick

Resuming the interrupted lessons, Day 4 is divided into two parts.

Day 4
Part 1: Practicing on Free Style (Front Crawl)

After a week of absence from swimming lessons (period happens), going down in the pool felt much like I'm back to square one again. But I just can't let myself be fearful all the time so I just go ahead and do what's instructed. There were seven of us adult students at that time and it was a roll call. We were asked to demonstrate the front crawl or the free style with breathing. I was the first one to go at the sound of the whistle.  Jittery as usual but I made an effort of muffling my fear and going in, thinking I can't actually drown with six other girls in the pool and the instructor watching intently.  The worst that could happen is for me to make a big blooper.  I'll live with that, I suppose. 

I'm just glad I was not the only one trashing the waters hahaha!  As we did laps, the instructor would comment on what needs to be improved and she keeps telling me to relax and flutter more forcefully.  That's probably easier if my abdominal muscles were not cramping again.  Anyway, I just try to forget the pain and do what needs to be done.  Call it the adrenaline rush and with six other students, I just didn't want to be the center of attention (or public humiliation).  

I've found this great video that gives a demo of the front crawl free style (which I wrongly termed in Day 2 as Treading).  I envy how she does it so smoothly and almost effortlessly.  I, on the other hand still struggle with coordination, particularly when I try to turn my head to the side and inhale.  I don't really get to inhale significant amount of air and most times, I just turn my head.  I guess I'm still a big work in progress.   Concentrating on too many things at the same time is really distracting.  I always lose the flutter kick when I do arm movements and I still sink when I attempt to breathe.  Sometimes, it gets frustrating but I just keep doing it again and again and again.  I guess I have to put in tons of practice to do it like this girl in the video.





Part 2:  Breaststroke and Frog Kick

The instructor wanted to move on with the lessons already and she just told us to go back to the free style during practice days.  I guess she figured we can't perfect that one within the day so might as well teach us another style.  She demonstrated how to do the frog kick first and I was saying to myself that it's another genius idea to humiliate myself.  Must be the frustration getting to me that time but like before, I just follow orders.  As they say, you never know until you try and once I did, I just felt an overwhelming relaxing feeling doing the frog kick.  Sure it takes effort to kick the legs apart on either side and bring back the legs together but all I can think of as I was doing my turn was "Wow, I love this."  And I loved it even more when she taught us the moves for the hand which is called the breaststroke.  It's like wiping the inside of a big bowl in front of you.  Putting the two movements together, I finally found where I'm good at, or so I think (I'll tell you later why it was just a thought after all).  It's the one thing I was able to do at first try and with so much ease! At some point, my instructor even commended me and on hindsight she must be thinking she should have taught me that first so I'll gain more confidence in the water.  

Oh but whatever, I just love the gliding feeling doing this style.  It's a bit tasking on the hip joints but I'm not complaining really.  

Day 5:  Incorporating Breathing in Breaststroke

I was doing great with the breaststroke and frog kick style.  It's slower than the front crawl but slower means more relaxed and coordination with hand and leg movements is relatively easier.  At least part of the frustration is ebbing, but I realize, my small triumph is short lived. 

In breaststroke, breathing is timed as you initialize the hand movement.  I was supposed to part the water and bring my mouth just above the waterline and inhale through that.  In theory, that sounded easy.  In practice, bringing my head up causes my legs to sink and never recover the balance.  So I was just sinking and sinking until my feet touched the tiles.  Not only that but when I successfully lifted my head above water line and try to gasp in air within split second, what I take in instead was the water still dripping from my mouth. Okay, so I just kept trying, and failing and trying, and failing and at some point I actually swallowed my first mouthful of chlorinated water.  Arrrgggghhhhhhh!!!   

How I'll ever do it like this girl in the video, there are only two words for me: concentrate and practice.  I guess I don't have much choice if I really want to learn.  So whatever frustration I'm feeling, I just need to shove it aside, like I did with my fear of water.




Also in this series:



31 comments:

  1. Aileen, just reading this makes me feel breathless already! And swallowing a lot of water is really argh!

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  2. breartstroke and frogkick are one of my favorite stokes in swimming.. it is easier compare to butterfly stroke. hehe sarap magswimming! go go go! hehe

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  3. Oh my gosh! You're really on your way to becoming a good swimmer na, Aileen! Never mind that you still encounter some "problems." You're almost there na! :D

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  4. i wish im like you sis who is fearless in terms of doing the swimming strokes. That's why i can't start in learning how to swim kasi natatakot ako...

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  5. Woah. I remember my husband teaching me some strokes similar above and I did actually have a very hard time.



    Congrats on your improvements Aileen, way to go!

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  6. I also do that sis when our instructor is not looking hehehe....that's the easiest combination for me so far....ako rin non-competitive naman. I just need to learn how to survive in water.

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  7. Sis, I was full of fear before I started this. And still having fears sometimes...but the key is deciding to really learn and then keep practicing.

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  8. Congratulations on learning how to swim. I wish to learn it with my kids sometime soon. You are very inspiring.

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  9. I took swimming as PE in college and I didn't really learn the breast stroke and freestyle. Also had a hard time incorporating the breathing. What I really enjoyed was the back stroke. No difficulty breathing there.

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  10. I will be very much happy to know even one to the stroke but come to think of it i will be jumping for joy when I get to learn how to swim..

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  11. I really wish I can go and learn swimming soon...

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  12. This post makes me want to look for a nearby pool and swimming. Swimming is my sport actually and there aren't available pools to swim just anywhere. My favorite stroke is butterfly. :) Good job in your swimming lessons Aileen. :) Keep it up.

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  13. This is swimming in all its technicality.Sis ako languy languyan lng lagi.I super envy you?

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    1. Dont mind that question mark, my finger slipped:)

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  14. Good job, Aileen! You are really on your way to becoming a good swimmer! Pang Olympics ang peg mo ah haha

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  15. I am glad your getting there. Naku hindi yata ako matututo talaga, parang matigas na ulo ko.hehe

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  16. Cool! nice simple tutorial. Great for beginners like me.

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  17. Hats off to you on the butterfly...ang galing! Tips tips! Sis, if you have the time, do write swimming tips...am sure marami ka nyan since you learned at a young age. :-)

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  18. Uyy, thanks for the video. I have always wanted to do this, but lumulubog ang lola mo haha. reading your entries make me seriously consider professional swimming lessons

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  19. I'm a floater but the right strokes...I could learn a lot from you article. thanks.

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  20. That is so inspiring, Aileen! It's really encouraging that you are facing your fear. Ako, my fear is driving and I'm wondering when I could overcome it. *sigh*

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  21. I want to learn the breaststroke and frog kick. I heard swimming strengthens the back muscles, so I really must do this regularly.

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  22. My kids and I look forward to peeking at your blog and watching what's new and what you've learned.

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  23. I agree with you. Parang ang dali lang matuto magswim lalo na un mga napapanuod natin epro sa totoong buhay mahirap talaga. So I salute you for being brave enough.


    Mommy Maye

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  24. Is it true that breast stroke is the hardest? I remember having a hard time putting my head up to breathe when I studied before. Oh, but that was decades ago, lol!
    FARIDA

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  25. I have managed to put my head up but the problem is, I still need to time my breathing. I just put my head up but my mouth is still closed lol!

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  26. Go sis! It's a great exercise pa

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  27. Yup I got confused nga sa terms. Front crawl nga ang proper term. Wow sa Red Cross po kayo? Nice! I asked my instructor about that and when I'm a much better swimmer, I plan to train there so I could also teach someday, if I am still inclined to do that :-)

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  28. when i had swimming lessons before, that was one struggle for me too, incorporating breathing! haha! i just couldn't do it! unfortunately, until now, wa pa rin! haha! :-)

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  29. Can I make a request? Can you post a vid or photo of you in your swimming session? hehehe

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  30. I will try pero baka comedy mangyari. Di pa kami ulit nakakabalik sa pool because we've been busy. Nakakatuwa sana nung pinapa-dive kami. Someone should have taken a footage of how silly we all are at the diving board and how some of us screamed (not me hehehhe).

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