Almost a year on from dipping my toes in a pool again and I am finally feeling a lot more confidence.
At the age of 11, I decided that early morning swims before school were not for me and made the decision to leave City of Sheffield Swim Squad. Being the little chabby I was, the decision was that other sports and socialising were much more interesting and the swimming came to abrupt halt…
(Top left chubbster )
Little did I know that over 10 years later I’d be voluntarily getting up at silly o’clock 5 days per week to smash out the lengths before uni, work and several other hours of training. With a gentle introduction back into swimming, I began with swimming barely any freestyle and getting breathless after one length. In the summer, I joined Leeds Bradford Tri Club and put myself at the back of the slow lane…struggling to keep up. With a first, rather teary session, my confidence in my swimming ability was knocked. However, my motivation to overcome this was increased (trying to be a strong independent woman).
There were many times in my first few months of swimming where I would probably come across as quite worrying for the lifeguards. My stroke mildly resembled a drowning child.
However, after just one swim session with a pretty sick coach at Caradon Swim Club, I realised that my technique was what needed some vast improvement.
4 months of swimming with the uni squad on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays allowed for my technique to improve rapidly. A further video analysis session at the Cornwall Swim Academy (surprise birthday prezzie) highlighted further areas that needed tweeeking!
- Head position – looking forward instead of down
- Kick – not as hard and improve flexibility in ankles
- Hand entrance – fingers first not thumb
- Hand/arm position – no crossing over in front!!
- Hip rotation – more rotation during stroke and less when breathing
Hungry for a bit more improvement…the New Year brought new challenges. I decided to exchange my Wednesday uni session and go back to Leeds Bradford Tri Club for a long course session each week. Lane promotion reinforced the fact that my improvements had been noticed… RESULT.
With a bit of encouragement, I decided to attend some of the uni sessions with the next squad up – BUCS Squad. These mega tough sets on a Tuesday and Thursday added a lot of variety to my week. Now…a month on and this morning felt like my best session yet. The last several weeks have resulted in me missing out regular 50m sections of the main set to allow myself extra recovery (or to be lapped – lol). With only 2x50m’s of the whole set missed out today, I feel extra pleased.
Practise > Perseverance > Produce Results
It’s easy to still feel crap when comparing yourself to everyone else, but actually feeling achievement and experiencing intrinsic reward is the best feeling! Now just a few months to go before I can step outside and try it out racing triathlon!!
Woop. Monday’s are good.