Went Swimming

I got to work very early today, considering the fact that I woke up late, I found that to be rather strange.

It gave me time for breakfast though.

I can now assure you that Peach Chobani and Vanilla Almond Galaxy Granola are an excellent combination. Seriously, people rave about the pineapple flavor all of the time. No. It’s all about the peach.

Work was fairly uneventful, which I was pretty happy about. I spent most of my day struggling to print up the labels for the company Christmas list (there was a major formatting issue…I won’t bore you…), eating Red Vines and trying to decide about what type of exercise I was going to partake in after work.

I brought both swim clothes and regular work out clothes, unsure of what I wanted to do. If I am going to swim, it’s best to do it on Saturday nights, as the pool is far less crowded. Also, I forgot my headphones for my iPhone, so if I worked out on the fitness floor, I’d probably spend most of my time really bored. On the other hand, if I went swimming, I’d have to get wet…and I’d have to get cold. I hate those things. Also, my tummy was feeling gross from the Red Vines.

In the end, I did go swimming. I almost bailed after walking down to the gym, but since I had told my co-worker that I was going, and his last words were, “Have a good swim!”, I knew I needed to go. I would’ve felt lame tomorrow when he asked how my swim went if I would have been forced to say, “Um….I kinda didn’t go…cuz it was dark…and cold…and I didn’t want to get wet…and I just wanted Starbucks instead….”

I spent a lot of the 30 minutes I was in the pool trying to work on my breathing. No matter what I do, I just can’t get the hang of rotary breathing. I spent some time, using the tips that I read on whatkateate.com, trying to figure it out.

Didn’t quite get it. Did get water in my mouth though. Yum.


I don’t know why it is so hard for me.

I guess  it is because swimming is still really hard for me. I learned how to swim in the summer of 2009 at 27 years old. I didn’t learn terribly well. I don’t know how to tread water, as the pool at the Y is only 4 feet deep. I’m still slightly afraid of the water, but less than before. I just keep trying to work on it. It’s really hard to break a phobia that has been with you for over 25 years.

At least I’m trying, right?

That counts for something?

After I got home I had to figure out dinner. I randomly came up with the following:

Russian Red Kale

Wild Rice from Trader Joe’s

Ancho Chili Steak on a bed of Kale and Wild Rice

Good Eats.

I trimmed the stems off of the kale and then cooked it in a bit of extra virgin olive oil with some garlic. The steak was rubbed down with a mixture of ancho chili powder, salt and cumin, then cooked on the stove top until I was sure it was really, really, really dead. I like things well done, you see. The rice was made in the microwave.

Simple, tasty dinner. Can’t wait to eat it again tomorrow (there were leftovers)!

Can you rotary breathe when swimming? Did you have any trouble learning?

16 thoughts on “Went Swimming

  1. I have been comfortable in the water for my entire life, but didn’t actually learn how to swim properly until about 2 years ago. Like you the breathing was my biggest problem early on. It took me a bit, but got a lot easier after I figured out the best rhythm for me (in my case breath to the right ever other right side stroke).

    I can usually get through my swim without taking water in, but I still don’t feel entirely comfortable with it. I don’t think I will ever reach the point where it feels ‘natural’.. but I’m okay with that, because I’m not sure if that’s even something attainable by most of us air-breathers.

    1. Early on? I’ve been theoretically “swimming” for 18 months and I still can’t do this crap.

      It doesn’t get easier because I’m still afraid. I mean, I still have to do a few laps with a kick board and a couple on my back before I will even attempt to swim with my face in the water because every single time I have to try to get comfortable. I also don’t think I rotate enough because I’m stiff and uncomfortable in the water.

      Just sort of keep waiting for the day when I don’t need the kickboard laps and don’t actually feel tense in water.

  2. I took lessons as a kid, but then didn’t swim for about 20 years after that. So when I tried again last year at our gym, the breathing part was annoying again, and then I ended up mostly just going to the Aqua X classes instead. But d00d, the water doesn’t have to be deep to tread water- I can KNEEL in ours & still have my mouth above the water (if I tip my head back a tiny bit >_<.. which would make it just under 4' (1.2m), too), and it's still fine- since your legs are bent & you're kinda hunched over, your feet shouldn't hit the bottom. Granted, it is easier in a deeper pool (the high school pool where I learned as a kid had various sections from 3′ to 12′)… but I think we learned in a spot where we could still stand up if we got tired of it or couldn’t do it for very long.

  3. The breathing, when done by alternating on both sides is called bilateral breathing. This is more healthy for your neck rather than only breathing on one side of your body.
    It is best to breath out somewhat forcefully when your face is still in the water. Then when you are ready to breathe in, your body is actually on your side and you turn your head just a little bit more to bring it out of the water, and take a bite of air. Just a bite, not a long gasp.

    After your face is back in the water, make sure you are slowly exhaling.
    Hopes this helps a little bit!

    1. I know about bilateral breathing. I’ve done extensive reading on the subject, trying to look for something that makes it easier for me.

      Thanks for the tips…I think my big problem is just my lack of comfort in the water. You would think that being in water that is so shallow I can stand up would remove the fear, but not for me.

      I so wish my parents had just taught me how to swim as a kid! Being a neurotic, terrified adult is really not fun!

    1. Swimming is hard for me too! 😛

      The kale dinner was very yummy and easy. Last night when I had the leftovers I added some greek yogurt to the bowl for creaminess and a little parmesan. It was off the hook!

  4. Hey – just found your blog! As somebody who has swum competitively for 15+ years, rotary breathing is TOTALLY unnecessary, and I breathe to one side in freestyle! What is more important is staying balanced in the water – most people have their head too high so their feet sink. Try to press down with your sternum and rotate your body on each stroke.

    1. Thanks for the tip!

      I totally have the problem with my feet sinking. I also still have problems with breathing even to just one side….I don’t think I’m rotating my body enough, as every time I go for a breath, my mouth is not quite out of the water. Ick. So I wind up popping up for air, which makes my feet sink further.

      I watch the people in the lap pool swim, and it looks like it’s in slow motion. Every move so fluid. I guess I’m just making this harder than it needs to be? I keep trying to slow it down, and be zen about it, but I still haven’t gotten it down.

      1. Make sure you have your lungs fully inflated – think of them as a big old balloon of air that you can use to float. If you press down with your sternum/shoulders as you swim, you can leverage that flotation to keep your feet at the surface. A couple of good drills:
        1. Streamline squeeze: After each stroke, stop in a streamline position for 1-2 seconds, and squeeze your ears with your upper arms. This reinforces proper head position (which involves looking at the bottom of the pool when not breathing)
        2. 1 pull-6 kicks: After each pull, kick on your side with the hand of the arm under you leading (e.g. in front of you). This reinforces proper rotation.
        Good luck! Email me anytime for tips (since my blog is about chocolate, there’s, uh, no swimming info there :))

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