There’s only so much the coaches can do on group swim sessions to beginner swimmers, because there’s usually 20 of us (participants) and only a few of them at a given time. It’s pretty amazing what they have to done to me these past 8 weeks in the pool when I had ZERO swim experience. I can float, glide, do a few strokes, and the rest of the drills, but what I’m missing, is quite the most important part, are the swim basics & fundamentals. Yes, like breathing underwater, and treading water. I really need to get private swim lessons to focus on what really needs to happen before I move on. Even my coaches suggested I do so. By the end of January I think we will be doing open water swims, so I really need to step up my swim game to continue. My friend Petty, from the Westside TNT Tri Team is going through the same challenges (I found out when I tweeted seeking for swim coach suggestions). She reached out to her current coach for lessons, but is unavailable, so we were referred to a swim coach in UCLA.
This morning we met up at the Spieker Pool over in the north side of campus at 6:15am. Whoa! That was super early for my taste, but I gotta do what I gotta do! This pool was probably the nicest pool I’ve ever seen, as it had a modern design, super clean, seemed like professionals were in the pool, coaches on the sidelines – pretty much what you’d see on TV. Of course, it’s funded by some UCLA alums, so it has to be that state of the art. Petty and I met with Julia, our new swim instructor. We were both surprised that there was no shallow end of this pool! I think 8ft was the most shallow. Oh uh! We were so hesitant to get in that pool. “What? How do we… umm… where do I… what… where?!” hahaha! She had us put on some fins to help us float and navigate, but she had us go through some breathing drills by just having us submerge in water, blowing out air bubbles and go up for 1 second to grab air. We pretty much did that for a good 20 minutes, from stationary, to spanning the side of the pool. We also used the kick board moving across the lane, but also focusing on getting that breathing down. We had fins the whole time, with her sometimes testing us to see if we could go in the middle without having to grab something for support. We did a few rotation exercises, and flutter kicks as well. Being this is the first class, I haven’t been more comfortable in the water. She was really good at making us relax in the water, and to get rid of our deep end fears. We will meet again next week at 6am, but she wants us to get as much pool time as we can, so I bet she will make us take off those fins and do some basic swims.