My first attempts at butterfly

I’m doing a stroke development class at the Commie pool on Friday nights to improve my swimming. I’m enjoying it, and my swimming is improving, and I like that the teacher for this term is Annette, who was my coach when I was having one-to-ones to learn crawl in 2012.  She mixes it up a bit – some weeks are all about technique, some weeks are about fitness and distance, some weeks are predominantly breaststroke (I do the arms but with a crawl kick), some weeks are front and/or back crawl, and last night we tried butterfly.

I think some of the others had done it before last term and in previous terms, but I’d never done it. Well, last week we spent some time doing the legs (but it’s not really legs, it’s more of a whole body thing, even without the arms). Doing just butterfly legs with no arms is really hard because at no point does your head break the surface, so you have to half stop and force yourself up to take a breath and then resume the legs.

Last night was the first time I’d tried doing the full stroke. I have never been less like a butterfly, unless somewhere in history there has been a human-sized butterfly thrashing wildly against the water (not through the water, you understand), flailing cluelessly and gasping for breath with no idea how to make it better. I seemed to slip into crawl legs and had to consciously bring it back to butterfly legs, I couldn’t get my arms right (my left arm is still bad after my flu jag, but my right arm wasn’t doing any better) and I couldn’t get the breathing right. Annette had advised us to try not to breathe, because when you’re learning it throws the rhythm out and it’s better to concentrate on getting the rhythm right and keep breathing to a minimum. But, still, it’s a start.

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