So I'm in the pool, and I get to the end of about a 200 metre loosen up, and I'm bobbing at the end with the other 'nageurs' when this fella leans over and slaps his hand on the surface of the water.
“This is what you're doing and it's all wrong,” he says in almost perfect French – well, I mean he is French, but - anyway, “No, he says … see you're swimming like this, but you should be swimming more at this angle.” And he gives me a sympathetic, knowing look to show he understands and empathises with my inability.
Now there's not a lot you can say at times like these but, “What?”
I had a similar occurrence once in Libourne when the lifeguard commiserated with my attempt at backstroke. Now, in relative terms she would have had a point, but we're not talking that level here; so I listen politely and then at the end of this long instructional diatribe, I say, “No, don't think so.” And carry on with my workout.
Now, I don't swim backstroke BUT, when the Meet program is such that it interferes with my working with and riding my horse, I adjust.
So two weeks later I adjusted and swam backstroke – and won a Sleeping Bag and a 2nd or 3rd ranking in France's Masters. Might have done better but for the 1½ foot deep turn area (was a kiddies-biased pool). Jeeez ... I almost broke a fingernail!
So, there we are, I'm sorted re my Freestyle and all thanks to a generously critical Frenchman who has put me right.
I saw him swimming and I think he would be good for a 50-52 sec 50metres. He was swimming side-stroke when I left – here they call it 'educatif' - oh please!!!
The arrogance and the ignorance are stellar.
But then again, without that all-consuming patriotic arrogance, how could they sell any wine at those ridiculously inflated prices when a bottle of Italian Bardolino will knock spots off them.
Anyway, here's the workout what I did today. Who else has used that (bad grammar) phraseology in a very famous book … clue Ketchum? Mostly tried to take advantage of fewer bodies in the way:
And I hate to admit it but that was about it, – now you're thinking, “He's not doing much here, and I'm not getting much out of reading this blog.” But remember it's not how far you swim each workout. It's HOW you swim, certainly for sprinters. Quality. Stroke technique quality, not necessarily speed, but quality, precise, totally adjustable stroke.
Well yeah, you might be right, but it's the consistency of showing up that makes a huge difference and the even-greater difference is the mental game. Tougher and tougher into the countdown.
Next pool day Monday.
~ Author of fiction