Four weeks ago I started a new exercise regimen – swimming laps at my local gym. Prior to that I had been primarily using walking as my source of exercise, attempting to get in a two-to-three mile walk most days of the week. However, as active as I was trying to be, I still found that I was not losing any weight or toning areas of my body that could definitely use the work. (Hey, I have fabulous calves, though.)
Four weeks later, I find that I’m still fighting to get just a few laps completed. I like to swim, but I am not motivated by the exercise itself to get myself to the pool at 5:30 a.m. Oh, I get there, but the motivation mostly comes from trying to prove that I can indeed do it rather than feeling any sort of adrenaline rush from the swimming — is there such a thing as a swimmer’s high? I do fight for those laps, though, and I am happy to be able to say that as of today I upped my completed laps to four in a session.
A few days ago I had a conversation with a co-worker who also swims for fitness, and he mentioned that part of my difficulty was most likely technique. Constantly taking quick breaths means you are struggling with your body to keep going and not providing the oxygen your lungs need. He recommended I attend the master class. Looking at the course description, I think I might first try the intermediate class, as I’ve never officially had any sort of swim course – my front crawl is, well, a crawl and I am not keeping my head down in the water when I swim. This morning I worked to focus more on keeping my head in the water longer (yay for goggles!) and evening out my breathing — and found that I tend to panic a little when holding my breath underwater. That was certainly a revelation, but it wasn’t so strong a reaction that it deters me from trying to overcome it. Plus, I can always flip over and finish my laps with a backstroke if I find myself having problems.
All that said, I haven’t yet noticed a change in the scale. However, I’m going to continue to increase the number of laps as I can – I’d like to be at least swimming ten laps by this time next month – and I will be looking into that class. They’re full up for May, but hopefully I can start in June.