The joy of swimming (1) 본문
The joy of swimming (1)생름 2023. 7. 31. 23:57
As far as I am concerned, there are two types of humans in the world. One needs an inevitable workout for survival; the other doesn’t need to take exercise because the metabolic capacity of one’s muscle covers enough to maintain active biorhythms. This seems unfair to me since my body always requires some regular exercise for a productive life. Without it, my body's strength becomes weak which makes me surrender my duties.
It is also said physical strength is deeply related to one’s mental health. I assume the aforementioned latter type possesses a healthy mind that may resist temptations no matter how good their physical conditions are. I am probably on the opposite side of the earth and must work out in order to link a strong body to a strong mind. I have attempted various types of sports to name a few: dance, basketball, yoga, pilates, running, and swimming. Some were enthusiastic to learn, the others were merely for attendance.
Swimming, by far, is one of the best sports that has suited me since I took a class at my university. I started to learn it when I was 7, but my hands and legs were not big enough to push water backward, barely floating on the surface with no speed. Therefore, I had seldom any interest in swimming at that time, wondering why people swim, just for pain. Technically it could be a useful skill just before we are about to be drowned under the water and I needed the skill, I thought.
When I registered for a swimming class as an elective course at the university, I found its seductive aspects other than survival skills. The reason I discovered it is interesting only after growing up is because I felt my improvement day by day with my grown arms and legs. I took the course with my friends so I could have discussed swimming postures with each other or competed for the swimming records. Swimming is an individual sport, but I learned it is always more fun when I have friends as company.
Above all, I became stockier and more powerful compared to myself in the old days, and I was capable to push the water behind my torso with my hands and arms. Additionally, after I learned the concept of Newton’s third law in Motion, Action and Reaction, I managed to apply the knowledge to the sports world. Meaning, now I had the intellectual power to enhance my pool movement by actively searching for solutions. By the way, given this experience, I started to think, when it comes to learning new sports, adults may feel way easier than children aside from innate talents. Adults’ background knowledge allowed them to study their movement smarter.
In a related manner, swimming skill improvement is relevant to study. It requires patience with a slow and steady mind. Swimming seldom requires critical innate gifts (except for extreme cases like Micheal Phelps), and people, who have an understanding of swimming logic with an average body function and get trained up, definitely become better swimmers. Some might think endurance is a basic necessity for every new activity, but as someone who was so frustrated with playing basketball, feeling the gap between me and talented athletes, I felt swimming is one of the fair sports that is for everyone. This feeling arouses confidence and keeps me focusing on smoother strokes and more efficient kicks.
Besides, it is hardly at risk of injury while growing muscular strength and endurance. For example, although butterfly and frog strokes maybe not be for back patients, freestyle and backstroke are the best core exercise. By the way, I recently found out how to strengthen the quadriceps muscle with kickboards and short fins. It is also a productive warm-up exercise before starting lap swimming. I had no idea how to warm up before the class began in the morning other than, a couple of laps of freestyle and fast walking to the swimming pool. These methods don’t work satisfactorily. However, swimming with a kickboard let me warm up properly without disruption from the concentration of breath patterns or the distance to the person in front of me. Moreover, the larger surface of the water I push with short fins, the shorter time it takes to strengthen my thigh muscles. These fins allow me to move at the proper speed despite the kickboard that increases water resistance as opposed to the forward direction. Unlike other sports where people have to support their body with their legs, swimming is a distinctive one, defying gravity so that people could grow leg muscles without any injury to the knee.
This self-routine with a combination of the kickboard and fins is one of my recent discoveries in this sport. Before that, I vaguely thought swimming was mainly functioning as a full-body workout to burn calories and cardiorespiratory endurance. Thanks to the new tactic, I could focus on thigh muscles to protect my over-30-year-old knee these days. Likewise, although I have learned how to swim better here and there, there are always new swimming techniques I have to explore over the world. As I got closer to my classmates, we started to discuss swimming postures and shared each other’s attempts that work for oneself. Since everyone has a different issue, each solution doesn’t satisfy everybody. Nevertheless, just like how collective intelligence serves, one or two methods suit me and enhance my swimming performance.
The more I achieve swimming skills, the more I am able to break down into segmented characteristics from other’s movements. I would like to talk about a few tips for easier swimming in the next article.