Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Walking and chewing gum

There's a reason I was a runner--and by "was a runner" I mean that the organized competitive sport I did in high school and college was running. (I was also a bocce player for a brief, championship season at Bell Labs in the late 90's. Back when there was really a Bell Labs that wasn't owned by French people. Although I worked for a French person there, oddly enough. I was also sort of a volleyball player for a year, if you count being on a team because they needed two women and I was one of only two women working in the physics labs, and keep in mind that this was a physics volleyball team, with the awesome laser-related team name "Stimulated Emissions," and I do have to point out that despite being physicists we won the intramural championship at the university where I was working that year.) But back to my original point--really, the only sport I did for real was running. And I think that's because I'm not very coordinated. (Just ask my Stimulated Emissions team members. But don't make direct eye contact, because, you know, they're physicists.)

Which brings me to swimming. One of the things I find challenging about swimming--aside from the fact that I can't just breathe whenever I want to--is that it requires me to think about multiple parts of my body at the same time. I understand that my goal is to get to the point where I don't need to think about them, but I'm not at that point yet. I find it hard to correct more than one form thing at a time.

The two major things I am trying to correct right now, based on my videotaping session and feedback last week, are 1) not over-rotating and 2) having relaxed hands that enter the water early enough and in a streamlined fashion (as opposed to being placed in abruptly, fingers up, as though maybe I want to stop the water from rushing at me).

Here's the video of me working on not over-rotating. From what I read, it seems like most novice swimmers have the opposite problem of not rotating enough. I am so special.

video

If you are astute and didn't fall asleep after a couple strokes, you might notice that my hand entry is weird. That's because, as I just said, I can't work on two things at once. So here I am with better hand entry, although now I'm probably about to flip over from my rotation:



video

If you have some swimming expertise, feel free to point out other things you think I'm doing wrong. Besides my questionable swimming fashion taste--the suit was on sale, folks, and it has penguins on it. The cap I bought full price, so really I have no excuse for that.

Thanks again to my coach for her excellent cinematography! I'm not sure how she made the pool look all greenish-yellow in the 2nd video, but it's kind of freaky. And thanks also for the coaching. When I swam yesterday and focused on these things, I swear I was about 5 seconds faster per 100 for the same effort.

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