Swimming in the Open Water in the Caribbean Water
I had two opportunities to swim in these waters recently – once in Bermuda and once in St. Maarten.
After reading the Joel Friel book, The New Training Bible, I started to become more aware of the position of my body as I glide through the water. I try to keep my chin almost tucked into my chest, looking straight down to the bottom of the ocean. And, I try to keep the rest of my body level. I’m aware of my feet too. Are my toes pointing or are they flat? I want them to be pointing because when I wear flippers, my feet are pointing and I gently kick my feet in a way to propel me forward.
I also am particularly aware of my arms. I try to extend them as far out as possible as I swim along the sea. As taught by Magdalena Stovickova Skrine, one of my Masters swim instructors, I extend my arm all the way out and then, once my hand goes in the water, I pull my body forward by having high elbows in the water. One arm is always out in front of me at all times helping me glide and move forward.
I also notice my breathing. If my head is face down and my chin is tucked in, I can pick my head slightly up above the water to take a quick breath. As quickly as I take that breath, I let it out slowly through a straw, as taught to me by my first Masters Swim Coach, Bryan Krut. The rhythmic sounds of my air coming in quickly and leaving slowly puts me into a trance that is so relaxing that I can’t think of anything else.
So the combination of me using my arms to glide and my gentle kicking with toes pointed while I swim coupled with my breathing in and out, makes for a meditative experience, except, however, when I have to do drills or speed work in the pool, then the whole meditative experience goes down the drain. But I can keep dreaming of the time that I am in the blue turquoise water gliding along…. Can’t I?