Thursday 2 June 2016

Me vs Swimming...with an Accomplice

I'm still not a good swimmer. 

All of last season I spent trying to understand why my legs were about as useful as chopsticks in soup, and this year isn't looking much better.

A few things have changed. We have a new coach.  I'm convinced that she goes home at night and just cries at the prospect of trying to decipher my obvious aquatic failings, however I do enjoy the new and bizarre drills she has us do. 

The strangest one so far: imagine for a moment you are doing the chicken dance. Bend your arms up to make ineffectual little wings, and flap them around a bit. 
Good. Keep that image in your head. 
Now picture yourself jumping into the fucking water and try to swim using your ineffectual little wings. It looks a lot like you think it would. Basically you are a drowning chicken.

I have also convinced a friend to join me in the pool this year. I really have no idea why she agreed to do it. Climbing into a bathing suit and jumping into the water in early May when there is still some snow on the ground is not as fun as it sounds, but I'm assuming she joined mainly to enjoy the quality comedic performance I bring to the pool each evening. 

Together we've managed to bring a whole new level of grace to the water. 

For fun, and because we were otherwise completely done with the whole "lesson" part of the night, the two of us decided to pretend we were qualified to teach ourselves how to flip and turn underwater.
When done correctly, these turns allow you to seamlessly change direction and continue swimming when you reach the end of the pool, and if you're not us, look good doing it. 

But if you are us, as we were, then it probably appeared more like a case of the halt leading the blind, but where both parties were also drowning. 

Now, in theory, this move seemed simple enough. Somersault over, push off the wall, and swim in the other direction. Emerge victorious at the other end of the pool.

What actually happened was more like this:  somersault over sideways, push off something (wall, person, or thin fucking air), and then submarine down and skin your ass on the pool floor because you weren't even close to pointing in the right direction. Finally, emerge coughing and choking because you managed to suck a litre of water up your nose like someone desperate to prove they can use a neti pot.

Or, if you're my friend, you can attempt the somersault, not make it even close to a full rotation, abort the move underwater, and then for no definable reason, do a handstand. She even pointed her toes. A solid 7 out of 10.

Once she came back up from her underwater gymnastic routine, and I stopped laughing long enough to ask her why on earth she had done a handstand. She told me that once she realized that the somersault wasn't going to happen, she panicked and did a handstand. 

I can honestly say that I've never done a panic handstand before. 

Well done.