Thursday, January 31, 2008

The swim stroke

Last Friday I was at the pool for one of my sessions. Each of the lanes had only one person so it was a pretty good time to be there. Enough people for a slight distraction, yet not so many people that they would disturb me. Anyhow, on the lane to my right, there was a woman who “looked” like she was an experienced swimmer. She had the racing suit, head cap, goggles. She looked the part. But then during my breaks between sets I noticed she had horrible form. She had short strokes, which even to me looked inefficient, and then she did this weird thing with her left arm every fourth or fifth stroke. It seemed her arm would shoot almost straight up and seemed to do like a salute with her elbow up in the air, then she would resume the stroke. She did this wicked fast, so that at first I couldn’t tell what it was. No matter what it was…it was poor form. And offensive to my sharply trained eye ;)

With all of that effort she was making you would think she was going fast, but at one point I was taking a 20 second breather when she came by the wall and started out. She was halfway down the lane when I started off. I got to the wall first. That’s how much energy this woman was wasting. Clearly this was a person that could really benefit from lengthening her stroke, and getting rid of the patriotic salute during the swim.

Although the swim is not my favorite event, I do seem to feel a lot better at it, and more comfortable. I also know not to salute while I’m swimming. So I guess I have learned something afterall.

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