Friday, January 27, 2006

Swims Like a Fish

"Swim like a fish." Those words sound clear enough. "Do what a fish does and you'll move through the water just fine." OK, fine. What kind of fish? Shark? Whale? Blowfish? Jellyfish? My point is deeper than you might think. Each of these moves through the water their own way. Some of them are more efficient than others. Each breathes differently than the next (I think). Each propels itself differently (I'm certain). Now when I watch swimmers in lanes next to me, I see the same thing. Everyone seems to have his or her own style. There's the attorney who swims a couple times a week for an hour at a time - no stops. In my 45 minutes, I usually pass him about twelve times, yet I bet he's getting more exercise than me. He's certainly expending more energy, pulling his head out of the water and bending his body at oblique angles with each stroke. Then there is the small dark-skinned woman I saw one morning - only once, my ego thanks God - who was like a flash of lightening. We'd kick off the wall at the same time and by my third breath (about 2/3rds of the length of the pool), she was already coming back past me going the other way. What is going on here? What was she doing that I had no clue about?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The NBA Pool

Back when I was a freshman in college, I swam laps in a pool in the basement of an old college building used for social events. Few people even knew there was a pool there so new faces were usually a novelty in the lap lanes. One day, one of the varsity basketball players, a near seven foot tall guy who was built like an oak, got in the pool (he later went on to play for the NBA, so you know he was no wus). To this day - 25 years later - I have never seen such a strong man swim. Just moving his huge, football sized hands made waves splash over the pool edge. His kick was powerful too - like one of those boats that push barges up the Mississippi. But despite having the equipment and the power, the man could not propel his body forward much faster than I could crawl along the pool deck. To this day, I've wondered about that. Why couldn't he swim? What skill (or knowledge) did I have that he did not? I didn't know. This blog journal is my life-long attempt to discover that secret. Some have found it, yet it aludes so many others. Hope I can help.