Friday, May 05, 2006

How to Float

I got ahead of myself. I suppose I should have covered floating sooner. You need to master the basics of floating if you wish to swim proficiently. Notice, I didn't say you had to actually float. Some folks think they just can't. Others can actually float vertically - don't laugh, I've seen it. What I will demonstrate here is what is involved in floating. Why this topic? Any marginal ability to float may make you a better swimmer. People with an average to high level of body fat generally can usually float well with little problem. Where does that leave the rest? The secret is lung capacity. If you aren't the athletic type, you'll need to work on building that lung capacity. You want to figuratively create a stable balloon of air inside your chest. On dry land - how about that pool side chaise lounge or your favorite easy chair? Take the largest breath you can and hold it for about ten seconds. Then keep your chest inflated by letting only a little air out, replacing that marginal amount with fresh. By doing this, you make your center into a large air tank. The laws of physics say you will become more boyant. I learned this to a point I never thought possible. When I was a teen, I couldn't float at all. Then I learned this and practiced it. You can too. Do it until you are comfortable with this new form of breathing. Now get in the pool. Try lying back in the water with your back arched as far as you can. This forces your new air tank (your chest) to the top of the water. Let a little air out and as you feel yourself starting to sink, take in a quick sip of air to replace that which you've lost. Practice, practice, practice. Oh, by the way, the people on the pool deck think you're just sunning yourself. You look cool!

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