Do you know swimming and enjoy it? Then you will get this post, totally! You don’t know swimming or you have never felt that swimming is fun? I hope this post makes you interested enough to learn. I have never been a record athlete. I was a decent table tennis player (I hope I can regain my decency if I am given a chance to practice enough) and a good runner as a result of the summer camps my dad sent me to. When I was at school,I had a good stamina and even beat the class record holder in running once. I was a good swimmer(again with practice, I can gain more stamina and better at it).
Of all the sports I ever participated in, swimming is one thing that refreshes me like anything. If I have a good swim, I feel like I am reborn. I was introduced to swimming in 2nd grade and I learnt it for around 5 years every summer. After that, there was no stopping as it rejuvenated me like no other activity. I learnt all the common styles and even attempted the dives in swimming except for the butterfly diving which made too much enter my head and made me miss subsequent swimming sessions. But I never tried to excel as an athlete in swimming. Of course, I won all the local competitions and races but never once did I think about making it professional. The reason being I was having too much fun swimming to care.
I hate the routines – the warm-up, the strokes and then the rigorously planned laps. Once I take that cleansing bath before entering the pool and reach the pool, all restraint and responsibility breaks free for me. I dive straight into the deeper end of the pool without bothering to warm-up and do what I feel like doing on the fly. My coach tried to restrict me for a while but gave up after seeing how much fun I had in breaking the rules of this sport. The pool I practised was the deepest in our district with the maximum depth at the diving end being 22 ft. There were different levels of diving boards for swimmers at different stages of learning. The first time I attempted diving, I went straight to the top and jumped. Yes, it hurt! Like hell! It hurt because, in the excitement, I missed my coach’s advice to stick my hands close to my body. That was my first encounter with the fact that water has so much force and would hurt you if you are careless.
I learnt by experience and followed only 2 rules – 1. Never underestimate the force of water. 2. Running water is different from still water. If you want to experience wildness, go to the highest diving board and dive with my eyes closed. The rush as you tear through the air and break the water surface is enough to give anyone a high. Ever felt what it is to be truly tranquil? Try floating on your back spread-eagled with eyes closed, letting go of every weight in your mind and body. Just float! I call this water meditation and you can even sleep in this position. Are you a control freak? The inverted position in water is for you, i.e, Reaching the depth where you can stand comfortably and bend down to stand on your hands with feet above the water. Your nose and ears will protest until you master them. If you want the force of water to challenge you, walk against the water as you would walk on the ground. Something as simple as that would show you how much force water holds. If you want to experience out of world serenity, reach your comfortable depth and exert your weight downwards and sit cross-legged on the pool folder holding your breath as long as you’re comfortable.
These are just some of the experiments I learnt from my coach and enjoyed it to the core. I have tried swimming in a river and in the ocean when I went for a catamaran ride (with supervision). Swimming in running waters is nothing like swimming in a pool. If you think what I experiment in pools is wild, then swimming in running water is just out-of-words kind of wild. So I don’t play break-the-rules there and instead be an obedient child. I wish I had a private pool but yeah I am practical about how much it would cost and how much water it would use. So I take every opportunity I get to swim, hoping the opportunities would increase once we move to our own apartment. Seeing how much I enjoy swimming, some of friends wanted to learn and I taught them a bit too. Also I never play when I teach others, I know how play can turn wrong and I don’t want to be there.I experiment on my own because I know what I am doing and I don’t dare nature. So I guess I can consider a hobby as a coach in the future if people are interested.
Water is such a chiller for me that any time anywhere I see a swimming pool or prospective water body for swimming, I want to jump in impulsively. I feel that water is the best teacher there is, it teaches you to play, it teaches you to follow rules and then break them, it teaches you to let go and it teaches you to hold on where needed, it teaches you to survive, to battle and overcome the downs, to enjoy the ups. In short, water teaches you to live.
Until later 🙂
P.S: One more common lesson for swimmers out there, if ever you are trying to save a drowning person or someone who thinks they are drowning, never approach them from the front and save them by catching hold of them from behind or by giving them something to hold on to. Once when the coach was trying to teach my younger bro to forget his fear, he made me stand in the water nearby so as to reassure him. As soon as he was into the water, the moron thought he was going to drown even though he was perfectly safe, so I held out my hands to assure him and you know what he did? He pulled at me, kept one hand on my head, pushed me down and tried to stand on my head to save himself!!! Yes, fear does that to you. Thank god, I was quick enough to realize my folly and get a grip on him and get him out of the pool.
P.P.S: If I had been Archimedes, Eureka would have never happened. I would have just enjoyed an awesome bath in my tub without bothering about mundane stuff like Maths 😛
DISCLAIMER: Every attempt/experiment I have mentioned here, I learnt it properly from a qualified coach and improvised. I don’t advise anyone who hasn’t learnt swimming well to try this. Nor do I recommend anyone, even if they know swimming, to attempt anything I have said without learning it from a qualified swimming coach. The fun lasts only as long you are safe!