I was at the Hamilton Water Palace last night – nothing new there, except it’s a Monday, and I haven’t been on a Monday in forever; and I was there for a swim.
I’d done something like ten lengths in a row and there was an older guy, looked maybe in his sixties, who was swimming in the lane with me, and he was stopped to catch his breath, and I stopped to catch mine, too, and I said, as I stopped, “Man, I really need to learn to swim with my face underwater.”
Turns out the guy was actually a swimming instructor, so when I told him that I’ve been trying to teach myself how to swim with my face underwater, I’ve just been expelling air out of my nose, he said I’m not doing it right. I’ve gotta breathe out of my mouth, and block my nose off so the water doesn’t get up it.
He got me to push off from the edge and glide, with my face underwater, breathing out of my mouth. It’s the first time I’ve ever done it without holding my nose, without nose clips… and the water didn’t go up my nose. I didn’t get half the length of the pool, but I was happy with it.
So the next time I go for a swim, I’ve got to practice my Aquatic Breathing, as he called it – just standing at the end of the pool, taking a breath, and dunking my face under and breathing out.
Thing is, once he was gone, I tried swimming with my face under water, but for some reason, my nose didn’t block properly, and I kept on letting water in. The title of the entry’s a little misleading, because I never inhaled the water; it merely trickled up my nose, but there was a lot of it.
See, I learned how to swim in Primary School, but they never taught us how to swim with our faces under the water, and they never taught us how to dive. (Thank GOD. The pool in Greenock was twelve feet deep; I was only around 5 feet at the time, and I may have drowned before I got back to the surface.)
So learning this now means I may be able to swim faster, stronger, and better.
All thanks to a random sentence to a kind stranger.
I love living in Scotland.