Tuesday 23rd April – Mind Elsewhere Today
Having turned up to the pool yesterday with a little hint of excitement due to some visible progress being made I was told the pool was not open until midday due to the President of Bulgaria visiting Yambol. I did wonder why I saw so many traffic police on the way to the pool. It has to be said though that I couldn’t understand why a presidential visit would cause the pool to be closed unless he was visiting the school, which he wasn’t. I didn’t question as to why and walked back home resigned to turning up the next day when things are back to normal.
So, Tuesday it is and 09:46 on the Parking ticket machine, first in and feeling a bit rushed for some reason. With this sense of urgency, I purposely took an extended amount of time doing warm-up exercises outside the pool to calm me down.
Today I was determined to try the front-crawl with a point of extended relaxed, reduced tension and easy style trying to get a clockwork system kicking in that could be sustained. The session didn’t start too well with the feet on the ground after two lengths of breaststroke and a gulp of water for no apparent reason. Having said that, my mind was wondering whilst in action almost multi-tasking with focus on swimming technique and other things preoccupying my mind outside the field of sport.
Four lengths of front crawl managed but the last length the style began to flounder with a sense of tension mounting. I know this would lead to panic eventually so took a break. Taking breaks with feet on the ground is something that has thought about and I know that can’t happen in the event so I took it upon myself to recover lying on my back as this would be the method used in the challenge. It worked quite well and helped get back into relaxing mode before starting up again.
Over the next twenty minutes, it was 2, three or four lengths of front crawl, with either treading water on my back or breaststroke as recovery sessions depending on how out of breath I was. During these sessions, I touched the floor once, but just from laziness knowing it was there and lack of concentration which didn’t help. In fact, my head was full of mishmash today and not entirely focussed for some reason.
With things as they were today, I didn’t really enjoy the freestyle at all, it is all too stressful especially after the first two lengths. To be quite honest I couldn’t wait for the drill to end. This, of course, leads to trying to speed up and finish sooner but is self-defeating. Can’t say there was any time when I felt totally at ease with it.
It is still early days and I know the breaststroke albeit a very slow drift would always be there to rely on. It is only from the point of being bloody-minded that I haven’t knocked the freestyle on the head by now and there is perhaps a little salvation to come. From this, I am talking about a wet suit which will help with buoyancy and surely would make the breathing easier as my head and body should be higher up in the water. Having never worn a wet suit before and not owning one this may be an essential element in June when the school and pool close for summer leaving open waters as the only option. The nearest known pool around 100 kilometres away from my home with giant catfish and snakes that frequent local lakes. the waters are flooded with the dead corpse of dogs, cats, rats, sheep, and the odd human. I have to admit to witnessing most of these in local lakes and rivers whilst fishing. This is Bulgaria of course. Also, another challenge altogether with the fact that I know there is a good chance I’d drown attempting open waters right now so more confidence needed in the pool while it lasts.
Thursday is my next due session this week if all goes to plan. It is Easter this weekend in Bulgaria so I’m not too sure what the school pool has planned in terms of opening.
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