Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sit Back, Breathe Deep and Repeat

In my last post, I talked about the importance of breathing awareness - how one should learn to understand how one breathes. This awareness will let you logically know when you must breathe and when you can hold on for a while. Panic attacks may become a thing of the past. I practice my breathing each time I do lap swimming, and my wife tells me I even do it when I sleep. As good swimmers prepare for lap swimming it is common to see them rolling their shoulders - to loosen them up. I use that time to take some seriously deep breaths - then, when I finally enter the pool and start my first lap, I see how far I can go without taking my first breath. I've been surprised to see that I get further almost every week. I'm learning to breathe! If you are new to swimming, you can do this too. Get back in that easy chair I spoke of in my last post, and take a deep breath, hold it for about 10 seconds, and exhale. Repeat this for a minute or two. You may find yourself starting to relax. This is normal and part of your "exercise." If you practice this over time, you may find yourself holding on a little longer. Don't push it. That's not the point, and can lead to trouble. Now breathe and relax. That's how we are going to approach stroke technique when we get to that point.

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