60 - The Tao of Swimming

TL:DR | Acting as a more philosophical post today. Understanding the flow of swimming, through the flow of the universe.

2 min read
60 - The Tao of Swimming

You never know what is coming tomorrow, and the act of planning almost is pointless because of that. Should we still plan? Yes. Should we worry about if it is perfect? No.

I always tell my students it isn't about getting from point a to point b, but rather HOW you get there. How the journey of swimming unfolds.

Why + Philosophy:

Taoism is about being one, with the universe, with yourself. There is no difference. However in this context of this post. The Tao of Swimming, it is being One with the water.

You are in a pool, an ocean, or perhaps even just a bathtub. Regardless. The water surrounds you, it envelopes you, and it carries you. That is what swimming is really, controlled carry.

The water carries you along, if there is a current, then you will go with the current. If it is still, then you simply must create a current yourself. However the fact of the matter stays, the water is still holding you up.

How + Physics:

When I get in a pool I feel at peace, I am full, and that is because I am one with the water when I get in. I know the dangers, and I know the positives.

I control my buoyancy, and I understand the hydrodynamics of what is going on around me. I wish I was able to capture it, but the other day when waiting on a swim lesson. There was a ton of wind, and it pushed the water uniformly in a soft yet firm pattern. Small waves rippling through the surface.

However beneath all that motion, there was stillness. There was the calm and serenity of the water. Understanding those concepts of duality, and how it impacts you as a swimmer. That is partly what I mean by being one with the water.

What + Psychology:

In Taoism we can find balance through our own actions, or in some cases Inaction. The same goes for the Tao of Swimming. In some cases we do not need to do anything else. We are simply being carried by the water. Hence why we do glides off the wall, and why they end in a "streamline" motion. To allow ourselves to use our original momentum, and the carrying of the water; To get us further and further.

Same goes for sinking. I often, rather always, tell my students you do not need to blow all of your air out to sink. Instead you must simply get to your "sinking point", which is the exact moment where your body changes from floating to sinking. From there you simply just have to wait for your body to descend. However our minds usually keep us from doing that.


This is only the tip of the finger on this concept, and it isn't something I see any other swim instructor (digital or real life) ever talk about.

Swimming isn't just the physical actions, but the mind and spirit behind them too.

This is advice for people to level up their swimming, or perhaps get started in the first place. While you swim you should make sure you are doing so in a public facility with a lifeguard on duty for safety.

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