I had learned to swim via the brute force method of kicking-while-flailing-arms-and-struggling-to-breathe-while-gulping-water-and-half-drowning. One whole lap would take an eternity and doing another one didn’t seem quite a good idea. Along the way, I had tried to tweak my swim by going through the different swimming schools of thought: kick or not to kick, two-beat or four-beat,breathe on one side or alternate breathing, cartwheel stroke or s-stroke.
Of course part of the journey was getting the requisite swim equipment: paddles (even the oversized one), pullbouys, and kickboards. The result so far is a 28-min 1K swim, just about average, but something that can stand improvement.
It turns out that there is a better way to learn to swim as TI illustrates. TI emphasizes balance and relaxation on water, and using the core to propel oneself. TI actually discourages the use of pullbuoys and kickboards because this makes you out-of-balance in the water.
Going through the TI drills, I was so amazed to have traversed the length of the pool even without using the arms and without the usual breathing struggle! If I had gone through TI at the start, I surely would have spared myself those unpleasant moments at the pool.
The basic TI drill is the what they call skating or swimming on one’s side. The propulsion comes from swimming from one side to the other. Of course, this is hard to imagine just reading; you’ll have to see it here:
The basic TI course consists of 8 one-hour sessions. If you’re on a tight budget like me, you can actually also sign up initially for 4 sessions, then continue when you’re able.
Of course, I still have to see how much faster it can make my swim go. I haven’t really seen the results yet, but so far I’m hopeful it will.