A Training Analogy...
By Joe Maurantonio
"Training is like people that go swimming at a Pool. You see, some people like to just go to their local pool. Its a matter of convienance. They like the atmosphere and going in the water but the quality of the Pool doesn't really matter. Nor the other people that are swimming and playing. They're there to swim and play and who cares about the other people, right?
Well, some people find they like going to the Pool but decide 'hey, there have got to be better Pool's around. And what's with all these people that are acting silly and the life guards that don't give a damn?' These people go Pool hunting find a nice Pool not too far [maybe an extra drive of 45 minutes] away, but its a Pool that they can really appreciate and in many ways gives them greater joy to be at. They find themselves in the water more, learning more and playing more.
Some people are Pool fanatics. They are willing to pay extra money, join special clubs, wear special outfits and practice special ways of swimming, etc. Some people will relocate, I mean just up and move their whole families, to be near a better Pool facility. They want "olympic quality'...
But more importantly, each of these people have their own methods for acclimating themselves to the water each time they go to the Pool. Oh, you know what I mean. Some of them go to the Pool, sit on the sides lines or in the tanning area. They like to look good in their bathing suits, but they really don't like to get wet (or mess up their hair).
Some like to stick their fingers or toes in the water and feel the temperature. Are there waves? How deep is the water?
Some like to to put their whole hand or foot in and really feel what the temperature of the water is like... they need to know what its like under that top 'warm' layer that the sun heats up. They want to know how the water is at the bottom. What its like once they're in?
Some of these people will sit Pool side with they're feet dangling in the water and try to get used to its temperature. However long it takes. Either the water gets warmer (never happens) or they go in or they give up.
Others will just ease themselves into the water, nice and slow. Some do a cannonball or some variation on that theme. And a few just like to hop in, off the side, and land gently on their feet - torso partly out of the water.
There are lots more types of Pool goers. Pick your type... If you realize your being foolish about it then change. What have you got to lose?
Well, when I was young I thought, "A Pool is a Pool. You know?" But I was young and had no real experience with swimming and very many Pools. Eventually, I decided that I liked nice Pools that I could practice my stride in. Which means that I had to travel a bit. I was even lucky that I found one of those really rare Pool's that has lots of nice life guards, that will even offer to hang out with you and teach you new strokes and explain what your doing wrong. I realized, traveling a long distance to have a productive Pool visit was worth it. It was what I wanted. Which didn't mean that there weren't times that it sucked being at that Pool. It just means that I've never regretted my choice to go, the distance I travelled, the money I paid and the fun I had. Not even in the sight of the silly or bad times.
I've even gone to the Pool when I was sick, just to watch my Bro or friends hang out and swim. That was awkward, but in truth, very much fun, too. Plus, I was always MORE psyched to go the next time.
How do I go in the water? Glad you asked.
When I was young. I took forever. Tested the water. Thought about it. Maybe went in the low end first. Got acclimated, got splashed or, thanks to my brothers... Got dunked. BUT I grew up. And realized that I like to test the water with my toe. "Is it wet? :) Is it flowing? Hot or cold?" But the fact of the matter is the answers I get don't really matter. I know I like the water, I like the Pool (that's why I go to that Pool) and I like being wet and swimming. So, after my toe tells me the Pool's secrets... Well, I just dive right in. Old noggin first. Yeah, that can be dangerous. And maybe, just maybe that there waters too cold or maybe there are lots of people around, etc. But, hey, I know how to dive and I can work around all that.
I think my point here is that if you like swimming then you have got to get in the water. You've got to tip your head down and get it wet. You have got to learn to dive and do the strokes, you know? But most of all, well.... You have got to get in it, to swim it.