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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

TI Breaststroke for Every Body: First Look

Do you have a fitness regimen that you practice with a friend or family member?

Backstroke for Every Body by TI Swimming Tonight I popped in the Breaststroke for Every Body by Total Immersion Swimming DVD. I know I’m still in the beginner stages of crawl and backstroke, but I wanted to know what breaststroke was all about since I see a lot of it being done at the gym’s pool.

Lo and behold, my husband, who generally doesn’t care for DVD tutorials and hates it when I ask him to do exercise DVDs with me, actually wanted to watch.

A Sedentary Lifestyle

Like most Japanese, my husband learned to swim when he was a child by being taught in school as part of the phys ed curriculum. As a student he never became a competitive swimmer, but as an adult he does enjoy going to pools, walking and flipping in the water, floating on his back, showing off that he could do dead man’s float for many minutes, and then doing an individual medley for about a total of 100 meters and then calling it a day.

Unlike our siblings, my husband and I are very non-athletic. He ran track in middle school and then quit for life. Aside from a summer stint with judo I’ve never practiced any sport in my life. We basically hate to exercise. We like going to jazz concerts and art exhibits. As per job requirements we spend the majority of the day staring at a computer screen. We also love to eat.

Last year, during our medical exams, the doctors ordered us to exercise, lose weight and change our diet.

This year, as a New Year’s Resolution, I looked forward to tackling this fitness project, joining the gym to start a training regimen, and learning/teaching myself to swim.

My husband was much more reluctant. “I feel fine,” he insisted. “I never get sick!”

The Need to Compete

On my insistence, he joined the gym. But he doesn’t like to do the workouts. Instead, he sits and pedals on the bicycle machine watching whatever is on TV.

He’s more enthusiastic about the pool, though.

Since finding out about Total Immersion Swimming I really started to enjoy practicing in the pool on my own.

By then I also figured that if I could swim better than my husband, he’d swim more instead of floating around and doing flips. But each time I challenged him to a 25m crawl or backstroke, he’d beat me very easily, by many meters.

He did, however, tell me “I can backstroke faster than you. But your form is better.”

I had mentioned to him previously that I learned to backstroke 25m and back in two sessions, just by watching the Backstroke For Every Body By Total Immersion Swimming.

“I hate the backstroke,” he said. “It’s my least favorite stroke.” He looked at me again. “You may be slow but have good backstroke form.”

A few weeks ago I showed I showed him the 02 in H20 – A Self Help Course on Breathing in Swimming – A Total Immersion Instructional DVD and suggested that it would be nice if we could do the drills together. He flatly refused: “Those drills will make me drink water through the nose. No!”

I knew that the only way I could make him swim more was to beat him at a 25m, a 50m, a 100m…

Breaststroke Basics

 So when my husband voluntarily joined me tonight to watch the Backstroke DVD I was surprised, delighted and hopeful. “Hey,” I thought to myself, “Maybe the time will come when we could actually do the drills together.”

My husband favored the breaststroke over the other strokes. But he said “My breaststroke could do with some improvement.”

So we started watching. He would make observations along the way.

“I didn’t know the insweep could be a Y shape. I always do a T shape. Maybe that’s why I tire easily.”

“I raise my head high up to breathe. They (TI coaches) hardly raise their heads. I could try that.”

As for me, I’ve never done the breaststroke before. “Could we try these together tomorrow night? It would be fun,” I suggested.

I braced for hemming and hawing and general reluctance on his part. Instead, he surprised me by readily agreeing.

Yey! :)

Swimming Together

Really looking forward to tomorrow night. My goal this year is to get on the fast lane at the pool, with my husband on the other fast lane. Not just float around in the water, but to actually swim for fitness.

I love my husband and want us to grow old together, healthy and happy, not obese or sleeping in a hospital bed.

Couple watching a sunset

Things have started to look up! :)



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