Thursday, January 13, 2011

Swimming up to the Aha Bar

I have to confess that I haven't been swimming for quite some time.

Part of my Stop! Start! Continue... assignment revealed that this was something I wanted to (re)start.

Swimming is a wonderful non-weight-bearing exercise and is highly recommended for anyone with joint problems, such as myself.

Did you know that the ego can get in the way and prevent you from fully benefiting or enjoying what it is you are doing? More so, if you were accustomed to a certain standard of excellence in the task you were doing, but because of age, illness or other factors, have had to accept a change in performance.

In what seems like another life-time now, I used to swim competitively and teach swimming. I know how to properly do and teach the front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke and the butterfly. I can even tell you how to do those out-of-fashion ones - the sidestroke and the elementary back stroke. However, fusions, surgeries and deteriorated joints have left their mark in how I now execute these strokes. (Some, I can't even do anymore.)

The other day, I had an aha in the pool. The struggle arose in my head. Perhaps you can relate?

"I used to be able to do this better." "Why can't I kick as fast as I did?" "That hurts when I do that." And on it went. I was being sabotaged and it was coming from within, or rather, "upstairs"! My ego was bruised because I was holding myself up to this standard that was no longer a fit for me and my life. Rather than enjoying the moment, I was wrapped up in a conversation an argument with myself.

I decided to practise some techniques and  just let my body take over. I've covered enough miles, (Or should that be knots?) over the years that my body knows exactly what to do. Immediately, I noticed an end of the struggle, which  The difference was remarkable! I even swam a little faster and with greater ease!

In the swim. In the flow. In the zone. Those timeless moments when skill, technique and conditioning all come together to make magic. Time for another round from the Aha Bar, wouldn't you agree?

The best part is that you can practise this, so that you'll swimming circles around those moments! What it will it be, the Aha Bar or Oh No Bar? (It's OK if you dog-paddle or even use an assistive device, like Auntie Stress!)

Related Posts:
Image courtesy of Cezar Perelles.
Cezar, was this photo taken in Brazil?

3 comments:

  1. Strange! I have added swimming as an activity to re-start this year!

    As you probably know, both my hips have been replaced and revised. I however need some exercise without putting stress on them. Yoga was the solution till I blew a disc! swimming is the answer and no sooner the climate changes to warmer days, I shall implement the Aha!

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  2. Marianna,
    What an illustrative example of practicing your techniques that 'let your body take over.'

    Many of us who have lived through a few decades can relate to some experience akin to your aha moment in the pool -- that "I used to be able to do this better" feeling.

    Thanks for showing us how to leverage skill, technique and conditioning to make magic. The services of Auntie Stress are just what the doctor ordered for many who are struggling with similar ego-deflating challenges. With your help, egos and confidence are restored and in-the-flow moments revisited!

    Jacqui

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  3. Ramana,
    Great bodies think alike!

    Where do you swim, Ramana?

    I just read on your blog that you went camping? Will you be posting about the type of camping you do?

    Jacqui,
    There is something to be said about the marching on of time. The magic is that we get to show and tell about said experiences.

    Thanks so much for "swimming" up to the Aha Bar.

    So, what can I get you?

    Ramana?

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Welcome! I know your life is busy. That's why I appreciate your stopping by to comment.