Swimming: A Year In

Except for a 1 month break during the summer, Maria and I have been swimming every weekday morning, and I'm quite proud of our progress.

In January, we could barely make 1 half-lap of a 25 yard pool without being totally out of breath. Maria was very scared--she could barely swim--and she would only do kickboard stuff at first.  I was a complete goof, and the thought of doing even a full 25-yard stint frankly scared me.  I couldn't coordinate my movements, I couldn't breathe properly, and everything felt like a struggle.  I honestly didn't know if we'd make it out of January still swimming.

As I sit here today, we're both up to 1/4 mile in the pool each week day apiece.  Maria's confidence is much higher, and she participated in a local swimming club in the summer.

 As for myself, today marked the first time I swum 11 Fifty-yard lengths without using a kickboard.  I've just about gotten bilateral breathing on the forward crawl, and my technique is improving.

A few times over the last month, I've experienced a "swimmers high," which is very similar to a runner's high; a general feeling of euphoria in which you feel like you could just keep going, forever. My resting heart rate is down to 65 BPM, and I can handle the jolts of adrenaline/testosterone from my body during stressful situations much better.  My breathing is slower, and overall my cardiovascular capacity is much improved.

Honestly, when I started this journey, I couldn't make it up the stairs or chase after Grace effectively, at only 37 years old.  After some diet modifications, I've dropped 20 pounds and I'm almost back in size 36 jeans after being unable to fit size 38 back in May.

Swimming is a great activity, with lots of technique in addition to raw effort.  I have had several strains and injuries, mostly around shoulder issues or knee problems due to bad technique.  I do feel generally exhausted after a session, but nothing like when I was jogging.  There's simply no impact on your joints, so it's easy to recover.

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