63 - You Can’t Fight the Water

TL:DR | The water is a gargantuan beast, and you are David vs Goliath. There isn't any weak points for you to strike at however. Well sort of... you can use the water to your advantage. Here is how.

2 min read
63 - You Can’t Fight the Water

You may be strong, you may be smart, but you are not capable of fighting the water.

It is the ethereal or metaphorical White Whale. You may dream of it, but it will crush you. Now that is a bit out there in a way to start this post, however I need to drive home just how fundamental the force of water is. Especially compared to a human being. If you jumped off a cliff into the water, the surface tension would feel as if it was concrete.

Why + Philosophy:

Going across the pool is the goal, moving our arms/legs up and down is the method, but going in a smooth rythym. That is the key...

The flow of water is just that, flow, it is moving in some way shape or form. You cannot change that. Sure we can splash the surface around, or displace some water if we cut through it. Although we are doing just that, cutting through, and as soon as our body moves forward it reforms back into shape. The water has it's flow, and who are we to stop it? We can only PASS through it.

How + Physics:

As I mentioned before cutting through the water is how we do things in swimming. Diving your hands into the water, or scissor kicking our legs to quickly displace the water. That is how we move our arms and legs respectively.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen my students try to brute force their way through the water. Force themselves forward, instead of propelling themselves akin to how I was saying before.

There is a Columbia Swim Club, CSC, where a lot of parents bring their kids to learn to swim (usually after some minor lessons prior). The problem is that this is what they do there. They simply do a brute force methodology, and that does not work. You can't just make kids swim laps poorly over and over again, and expect better results.

What + Psychology:

When we swim we think we are in control, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. One thing in particular that comes to mind, is well the mind, or psychology of it. We are beholdened to how our brains work, and we seem to think that our conscious mind is in control.

That isn't really the case, and most of the time with lessons our physiological response takes over how our bodies react. Meaning when our sub-brain thinks we are in danger, then it will stop us. However all that it is doing, is stopping necessary practice to learn to swim.


That same ego that our brains think that we are in charge, is the same ego that makes us think we can fight the water.

It is a natural force, that we can try to swim against, and fail. Or we can choose to swim with it, and add it's strength to our own.

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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