When you walk you build the muscles in your legs, you get your heart pumping, and you clear your mind. That is a minimal exercise in the long run (no pun in intended), and pretty soon you’ll have to walk further and faster than before.
We all need to walk, if able, and we all need to exercise. However it doesn’t mean we should do the same thing over and over again, for that is the definition of insanity. When you learn to swim, or doing the act of swimming, there is this sensation of growth.
As if every attempt leads towards some semblance of progress. As an instructor I’ve known some people to think that nothing that they try works, or that they aren’t making progress (when they actually are). However that is usually due to their mentality. Swimming is one of the few things that works most of the Four Pillars (mind, body, spirit, emotions).
Why + Philosophy:
Swimming is an act upon the water, the grace of movement, sequenced in a way that works best for the art. Sure the actual movement is an exercise, and so you are going to get stronger the more you do it; There is however this factor of grit and determination that you employ when doing the aquatic act.
This week as I practice my swimming skills once again, there was this notion of weakness. After repeating the process of practice, and going back to the pool time and time again. I felt the weakness leave the body, the peace of mind from focus, and the calmness of the serenity of the water.
How + Physics:
Physically it is one of the most, if not the most, demanding sports out there. I’d argue there is little out there that comes close. Whether you are pushing the water back behind you, or kicking yourself forward/up. There is a lot of movement that is training most of the muscles in your body.
When you do other movements in the water, such as walking, clapping, other kinds strokes, and more; They all interact with the muscles differently, alleviating the joints due to the water holding you up, and adding resistance to work the heart.
Those physical aspects impact your overall cardio endurance (think running up and down the stairs), which honestly helps me with singing even. Something I wouldn’t think would relate to swimming, but actually does a lot more than originally thought. Another aspect is the calmness you can get from slow-distance swimming.
What + Psychology:
You finally come down to the mind, for it is the greatest hurdle and asset at the same time. Your mind is often what breaks first, even before the body is worn out. Our brains are wired to NOT expel excess energy, and therefore to conserve. Meaning we have work against our own wiring to achieve the desired outcome.
Much like hard work in general.
Not only that but there is a fundamental misunderstanding when it comes to breathing, something we will discuss in future newsletter entries, that prevents us from going further before breathing. The main part to note now is that it is our brain/mind keeping us from going more.
Think of Swimming in a more 3D way
That is the point of today’s newsletter. It is more than just a sport, or an exercise routine, as it can be a holistic point in your life that helps all Four Pillars. The life you live can change based on the new regimen, let alone the new habits you form.
Try swimming out at your local pool today!