I've been swimming a lot this summer ... on my rest days.
My touchstone for restful swimming has been this video of Terry McLaughlin (TI Founder) and Shinji Takeuchi (TI President) as they swim individually and then in synch. They move like skiers down a mountain, sliding easily. No clutching, no thrashing and no wasted effort. Just relaxed, clean and fluid motion through the water.
I friend of mine wanted to work on his swimming this summer, so I introduced him to the Total Immersion program developed by Terry McLaughlin. I'd transformed my swimming several years ago by getting the TI book and dvd (and signing up for a weekend workshop). I spent weeks swimming only drills, and at the end came out with a transformed ability to move through the water. I went from being able to swim well enough not to drown, to the point where folks at the local pool began to compliment me on my stroke.
I decided it was also time to send myself "back to school" for a refresher course.
One of the great elements of TI is Terry's concept of kaizen swimming. Kaizen is the Japanese term for "continuous improvement" and it originated in manufacturing operations. Terry has borrowed this notion and applied it to his philosophy of swimming which emphasizes eliminating resistance and increasing efficiency.
Back to my rest days. I've been swimming very slowly, paying minute attention to all the details of my movement. And it's been amazing ... as I've looked with a quiet mind at what I'm doing (and what I'm not doing), I've come to realize that there's an entire world of improvement open to me.
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