Back to basics

I’ve been swimming lately to strengthen my paddling muscles. No, I don’t actually know what those muscles are scientifically named. All I know is I need them to be better than they used to be if I’m ever going to stop being chucked over the falls (which is doing my confidence no favours, by the way).

I’m great at swimming if I’m submerged. I can scoop this arms and flick my booty with enough style and speed to swim competently. But this freestyle business…is a lot harder. I don’t like the traditional technique of being face down and taking a breath on the side every second or third stroke. I can’t master it. I never could at swim class as a kidlet, and I probably still can’t (if I actually tried). So I keep my head up. Sure, it makes my legs have to work harder but it’s a good thing I have thighs of steel from my horse riding. I’m not bothered by my “contemporary style” of freestyle.

But it’s slow. And hard. I go for a twenty-to-thirty minute swim and I am bothered. My heart feels like it’s going to be expunged. My breathing is shameful for somebody that is supposed to be chronicling her fitness journey. (Hangs head in shame.)


Today I was paddling my surfboard(s). I arched my back and powered through the impact zone without being a) pummelled or b) thrown off. I could really get some speed up! My demented freestyling has helped build some strength so I am singing praise for the aquatic exercise that is freestyle. Woohoo! Although, I need to build more endurance strength because albeit that I had more oooomph in my stroke – my body didn’t agree that it was a wise idea to paddle and paddle and paddle and paddle and paddle and paddle through all those breakers. Cue the expunging heart.

My surfing can improve away from the waves. While it’s improving, I can rebuild some confidence. I was lifted high by two waves today, but only one chucked me. I managed to ride the other one with a wobble and a gulp of sea water as it broke with me down the line. As for the rest of my waves, I just caught white-water. What better place to build confidence than back where the babies surf. At least I look like I’m an okay surfer in the white-water instead of a bad one.


One thought on “Back to basics

  1. Swimming is something that I want to work on as soon as my shoulder is healed but I know what you mean about traditional swimming technique – I struggle with it too but if you do master it, it will help your surfing immensely. Keep it up!

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