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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Swim Like Shinji

Shinji Takeuchi is one super smooth swimmer. I dream of swimming like this someday: so incredibly calm and graceful, like a fish. It’s very different from the water-frothing, froth-churning, kickstatic swimming I see at the gym’s pool.

Takeuchi’s story is really inspiring, too. I also need to lose 18 pounds. Well, twice that, actually. But 18 would be awesome. One thing that really hit me while reading Takeuchi’s interview is: Laziness will get you nowhere!

The only difference with Takeuchi’s swimming that I’d like to be able to do is to breathe bilaterally each and every time. But before that, first and foremost, I need to be able to breathe! And lose 18 pounds.


While I save up for a Total Immersion Japan private swim course I really need to practice diligently using the DVDs…

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  • slf

    Oooh, is it common to only breathe from one side? I think when I start learning how to swim I will also learn the backstroke first.

    • beverlyclaire

      Yeah, it seems people have a “preferred” breathing side, just like writing. My instructor has noted that I breathe better (better form, more air) on my left than my right. Bilateral breathing is recommended but not absolutely necessary, it seems. There are many Olympic level swimmers who breathe only to one side. Total Immersion and Swim Smooth schools recommend working on bilateral breathing, or when that seems impossible then doing a 2:1 (2 breaths to the right, 1 to the left) or some other ratio. But they also note that some top swimmers don’t do bilateral breathing which is fine.

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