Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More Swimming Lessons

Being a glutton for punishement, I've signed up for swimming lessons! Long-time readers may remember that I did this a couple of years ago, before my first triathlon, and they really didn't help me, between the language barrier and the fact that I wasn't really being taught anything that would help me swim in the triathlon. At that point I couldn't swim 750 meters any way but backstroke. I used a DVD called "Freestyle Made Easy" that basically breaks swimming down into very tiny pieces and you master each tiny piece before you move on. It took me 3-4 months until I could swim more than 50 meters of freestyle without wanting to die; then all of a sudden I could swim 1000 but sloooowly. (If you know anything about swimming, I've gone from 2:45/100m to about 2:25/ 100m. Yeah, that slow.)

I'd seen an English sign for a swimming school near my school so I went to ask about lessons. There was a lady there who spoke English but the coach didn't. I took a trial lesson last week and it went OK- there were a few people in my group who spoke English and were willing to translate.

The next day I went back to ask some more questions and sign up. My coach was there and he said, "There are 3 points where you need to improve: your kick, your stroke, and your breathing." Ouch! I signed up- the thing I didn't like is that there's about 200 people, mostly little kids, getting changed and taking lessons at the same time, and I couldn't really handle all the kids staring at me and trying out their English. (Usually I'm patient with this, but after 8 hours of working and an hour of swim lesson, I don't want to talk to 20 different kids.) So I asked if I could leave the lesson 15 minutes early and shower, but still pay the same money. They were like, no. We talked a while and finally I was like, "If I get out of the pool after 45 minutes and get in the shower, will someone stop me?" Finally they said I could do that. Oh, and the poor English-speaking lady had written down 2 notebook pages of things she had prepared to say to me! So sweet!

I had my second lesson tonight. It really was helpful- I'm such a visual person that I just need to be shown, not really told what to do. The other students only had to translate a little. :) And the teacher said my kick is "hao bang"- basically the highest form of praise in Chinese. Yah!

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