Black Line Therapy
Fit To Ride
One of my projects is to learn to swim well enough that I can use it as a moving mediation, focusing on the line on the bottom of the pool and letting everything else float away, aka black line therapy. Right now, there is too much gasping and floundering and checking of the clock.
So. Had a swim lesson. Technical notes below. Have things to practice. Got in hot water.
Each branch of the YMCA in the area is different. For example, the lesson pool is colder than the one I usually swim in. It is also murkier. Rationally, I trust that the Y has safety standards and that opacity has nothing to do with the cleanliness of the water. Crystal clear water may still harbor all manner of exciting pathogens. Emotional, it is reassuring to see across the pool underwater.
Changing rooms are also different. The lesson Y has family and adult dressing rooms on opposite sides of the building. Since the family rooms are next to the pool, they are also for those using the pool.
Or so the sign says.
In reality, adults and kids are not allowed to occupy the same space. I can use the dressing room, as long as no kids are present or if I hide in the showers. I have to wonder if this monastic separation fetishizes nudity. It sends the messages that bodies are to be hidden, to be ashamed of.
There is a time and place for this debate. The time and place is not when I am standing in front of my locker, with my ass hanging out, dripping wet, trying to see my combination without my glasses, and some woman is yelling at me ‘You can’t be in here!’
Where exactly would you like me to go, Ma’am?
For my reference. Advice from actual swimmers welcome.
Legs. During kick, bring knees behind (above) hips. Bringing your chin down to your chest will raise your hips. And vice versa. That one was pretty cool to discover.
Arms. Elbow up and out. Drag finger tips along the top of the water. Note to self. Stretch. A lot.
The instructor also told me to relax my shoulders. Good luck with that. Riding instructors have been telling me that for years.
Head. This is where I’ve always had trouble. I never seem to get enough air. By the end of the lesson, I could do 2 or 3 in a row before getting it wrong &/or getting water in my mouth/ears/nose.
Turn my head far enough out of the water. Look up to the ceiling, sky, over the building, as applicable.
Keep the back of my head, i.e. where a man-bun would be, out of the water so that I don’t have to push myself up with my arms.
Follow my thumb.
It would be easier if I kept moving. When I get to the breathing part, I cease all activity while I figure out what goes where.
Stay long. In addition to pausing, I apparently scrunch up when I take a breath.
Although I liked the lesson, I will go back to my regular Y for practice. Just as soon as my right shoulder forgives me for flinging it in new and unexpected directions.
Update: In case anyone decides to take umbrage and thump on me with their sword of righteousness, I understand the reasoning behind the separation. I’m sad it has come to this point.
Thank you for reading,