Growing up learning how to swim was a challenging experience
Many children have a childhood that sounds like a wonderful and even a magical period where they played and had fun. For me, the first memory I have was the moment when my father left our family. He was a trucker who constantly fought with my mom and then one day, just took off and never came back. I can still remember the day Susan, my mom, realized that he is not coming back and that we could not afford our apartment. With my older brother Tom, we had to drive more than 300 miles to reach our grandparents and stay there.
In a rural town, my mom was warmly received by our grandparents, but the community saw the separation that occurred as something that was our fault like we chased our father away. Naturally, this pressure spilled over into our lives as well, which showed when we started school. Immediately, Tom and I were picked out as children who are different and even unsuitable. Many tried to hide that they felt this way, but the atmosphere showed it plenty: we simply were not a part of the community.
Years went by and the same feeling continued to linger on
Tom became somewhat of a bad boy and a rebel. He started smoking in junior high and his grades deteriorated. I, on the other hand, tried to find solace in food and eating, which is why my weight slowly but surely began to rise.
My mom was continuously overwhelmed by our family life, mainly because grandma and grandpa worked as farmers who did not make much money. That is why my mom found a job in the local diner as a waitress and worked two shifts for years on end. Overall, it was not a nice life, but it was something and our mom’s love was the most important thing for me.
However, this all changed when I was 16 years old and I learned that Susan had breast cancer. She did not tell us immediately, but she started to get worse so she plainly told us this one day. I started to cry as mom explained that her chances of survival were exceedingly low. The subsequent nights I cried my eyes out as mom spent days in the hospital. The last time we took her there, she was told by the doctors that she had to stay because of her condition. The next morning we got the phone call from the hospital, saying she passed away.
This hit me like a ton of bricks
My grandparents were completely distraught and did not know what to do; except to continue working on the farm and try desperately to earn enough money for the two of us. Tom, then a legal adult; decided to buy a motorcycle and take off traveling across the country, doing odd jobs. Then I was left all alone, with only food as something that could drown my sorrow. I thought that my life was truly over.
I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know how to swim after all…
When the swimming coach took me to her office; she told me that she went through the same situation with her mom, and that she has a way for me to stop the pain; swimming. The next day, I took my bathing suit and came to the school pool. The coach told me that in that water, I will find a sense of peace and tranquility that could be attained nowhere else. I listened to her and started swimming.
The first few weeks it was not easy because img src=”http://blog.com.mk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/534bfccb6f326.image_.jpg” alt=”swim 534bfccb6f326.image_” width=”300″ height=”280″ class=”alignlft” />I definitely needed a healthy diet plan;; which my coach supplied to me. Thanks to it and the swimming exercises, I started to lose weight. Now, I realize that this was a way how to lose weight fast; but then I just listened to my coach. But more importantly; as I swam and became better and better, I found a stress reliever like nothing I felt before.
Slowly but surely, I was able to focus on the fact that my mom loved me and all the good times we had; not just her death. This allowed my soul to heal and my body to become healthy. In the water, I could clear my mind and focus on my goals; which proved an invaluable skill in my life.
Ten years later
My coach was by my side when I won my Olympic bronze medal as a swimmer. She hugged me and was proud like never before, while I told her that she truly saved my life. Now, I am a happily married woman with two daughters and I go swimming every day; still finding that important comfort and tranquility in the water; is what the stories posted below is pretty much about.. It tells you a bunch of helpful information; check them out.
How to swim professionally to lose weight
My life as a professional swimmer has a lot of twists and surprises. This is mainly because I never dreamt that I would become a professional in swimming. The reason is because I had weight issues; and I even struggled to swim like an ordinary person. In a blink of an eye, I had gained weight mainly because of eating unhealthy foods and not being physically active. Being obese affected many aspects of my life including my self esteem. I only had a few friends and I spent most of my time indoors. Therefore, I envied my age mates who seemed to have perfect bodies; and as a result I decided to take action.
I tried different weight loss methods; and I finally settled on swimming. This is because besides helping me to lose weight, I also enjoyed swimming. At first I just swam with an objective of losing weight and nothing else. Since I was very passionate about losing weight, I ensured I swam regularly and for long hours.
Without realizing, I developed a deeper passion for swimming; where even after finally losing the excess weight, I could not stay away from the pool. Because of my regular swimming, I found myself beating even people; who considered themselves professionals. That’s when I realized I had become good in swimming.
We used to swim with a few friends
With that said, I found myself beating all of them. So I decided to test my swimming skills through entering local competitions. While entering these competitions, I was doing it more for fun rather than for competition. The first competitive swimming event I entered I became second. I was so thrilled having beaten some people who had participated in many competitions. In this stage I was still not that serious. But since this was a passion I had developed I decided to enter into more competitions.
In my first ten swimming competitions, I won seven and this made me realize I was a good swimmer than I had thought. So I decided to take swimming seriously; where I practices with an objective of becoming a better swimmer. I even joined the local swimming club to get more exposure. My coach at the club noticed my swimming skills and helped me a lot to get better. He would guide me on what to do so as to be more competitive. For a while, I was so determined to become a better swimmer to the extent where I was always the last one to leave the pool after everybody else had left.
My coach guided and encouraged me
My family also played an important role of giving me all the support they could. They were always there during competitions and this gave me even more motivation. My coach entered me in different completions where I won most of them. However, I have also won many awards in the different competitions that I have participated in. Besides the awards I have done a lot of traveling to different parts of the world to attend competitions. Right now, I consider myself one of the best. And not to mention, I am still working to become the best swimmer ever.
While starting, I had no idea that I would turn swimming for weight loss; and make it a career. Without a doubt, I am always grateful that I choose swimming as the ideal weight loss method. As a professional I have come to realize that all of us have a special talent and all we need is to discover them. If I had not chosen swimming, I would not have realized that I am good in swimming. That’s why I always encourage the upcoming swimmers to always stay focused and to work as hard as they can to achieve their goals.
I ensure I learn a new thing to make me a better swimmer. While competing with my friend, I thought I was the best. But as I traveled more I realized I still have to work harder to become the best of the best. The many awards I have won have also not changed my altitude; where I still believe I can be the best.
When I win I consider it as a compliment for my hard work. I have competed with some of the best professionals in the world and they have provided me with a lot of motivation. Right now I am looking for more challenges; where I am hoping to compete in the biggest competitions in the world. Therefore, swimming to lose weight gave me the opportunity to realize my talent. This has helped me become one of the best professional swimmers.
Swim the best
I always wanted to be the best, regardless of what I did in life. A strong competitive spirit was driving me forward from the earliest age. My father taught me chess and I was playing non-stop for months, obsessing about the combinations; until I managed to win a game one lazy Saturday afternoon. My father than turned to my mother and said: The boy is something else. It was like that with swimming.
From the early age, my parents were signing me in in all sorts of activities. I trained karate and went on piano lessons. Father thought swimming is good for weight loss and body development, and decided to sign me in a local swimming club. The pool was fair in size and I instantly liked the blue of the water and the smell of chlorine in my nostrils.
However, I was showing promise and trainers chose me to compete in a local youth swimming competition. I swam freestyle and left other kids behind. That’s when I won my first medal. As it was hanging from my neck, I knew that I want to be the best swimmer in the country.
Talent is 2%
The rest of the success comes from hard work. Then I devoted myself to the strict training regimen. I got up at 6 AM so I could do two training sessions per day and have the time in between for school. As a matter of fact, I trained different styles week after week to perfect my technique and see which one brings me to the end of the pool the fastest. My body was resisting the water surface using backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke and my personal favorite; butterfly.
Therefore, I started winning regional youth competitions; which gave me the courage to consider going professional. My trainer as well as my family stood behind my decision; knowing that I chose to do the thing I’m best at.
I moved to the city
I then signed a contract with one of the best swimming clubs in the country. For the first time in life, I had the possibility to train in a real Olympic-size swimming pool. When I saw the blue surface of the water, a feeling of satisfaction overwhelmed me; knowing I’m at the place where my dreams will start to come true. On that first day my body raced down 164 feet long race course; lap after a lap until I could no longer move. The results soon started to arrive. Medals, tours and competitions became my life; along a strict training regimen.
Behind every triumph is a mountain of sacrifice one must make to be at the top. When you’re deciding to be a competitive swimmer; you’re not choosing a career. But a lifestyle. Keeping your body at top form and refining your technique; while your life revolves around training is more or less how it goes. You get to shave the excess hair of your body too.
My early morning is reserved for stretching exercises, aerobic and yoga to tone up, loosen my body and prepare for the day of training. Next is the first swimming training in the pool. I do a half an hour warm-up swim followed by three kilometers of strong pace. Than a couple of hours in the gym, lifting weights; working on my strength. Than the second pool training, swimming intensively. On some days I have physiotherapy and massages.
I know what you’re thinking
One needs a lot of calories to endure such a day. Well, don’t let your mind sway to pizza and takeout because the life of discipline continues in the kitchen as well. My body needs to refuel with a lot of proteins, good carbs and healthy fat. Which in most days could be translated like – chicken breasts, green vegetables and nuts. A lot of them.
Strict food regimen continues on tours as well. In and out of hotel rooms, far from the kitchen and a little time between training is no excuse to indulge in easily available tasty. But mostly unhealthy fast food. If one stands a chance of becoming a top athlete, proper diet must be a constant.
I’m still far from reaching my goal and becoming the best swimmer. But time is in front of me. I’m enhancing my form and becoming better by the day. Swimming pool is my realm and I plan to reign in years to come.
My Swim Hobby
Like many people, I learned how to swim during primary school. Other then the initial fear and the odd ‘near drowning’ experience; I’ve always enjoyed swimming. My mother even took me to swimming lessons outside school hours. Although, I never wanted to compete in the sport. But also like many people; swimming wasn’t something that I kept up and carried into later life. But why was this when swimming has so many benefits?
Well for me, getting older spelled a change for my friends and me. As we got into the new thing, old hobbies started to fade out, swimming being one of them. By the time we were thirteen swimming pools were charging us adult swimming prices. Not having much money at the time we gradually stopped going.
This happened recently
However, a friend suggested we go swimming again as another way of keeping fit and I agreed. Now I’m already quite a fit guy, playing football at least two times a week and regular running, but doing laps in the pool seriously did tire me out! When you are childish, you don’t realize how many muscles your body uses when you swim, but I can honestly say it’s a full body work out! I could feel muscles from my arms, legs and torso all being worked, as well my heart of course. My conclusion was swimming regularly could dramatically help your all-round strength and fitness, even if you are already doing another sport.
As well as the health and fitness aspect; swimming is also a life-saving skill. If you even plan on traveling (Or even if you don’t) I’d suggest you learn to swim, as you never know when you’re going to need it. Now not everyone ends up stranded in the sea after a plane crash or has to rescue a loved one from a river. But wouldn’t it be nice to have the peace of mind knowing you could if needed to?
I, for one, will be keeping up swimming regularly now, the benefits of swimming are simply too much to be ignored.
Never let your swimming hobby be lowered as we speak here am a legend
Be that as it may, I swam the fifty yards from the guide boat to the rocky point that was the southern tip of Spain. However, I placed my hand on the cold rock; without looking up, I turned toward the open sea and began the nine-mile swim across the Strait of Gibraltar. On the other side was the northern tip of Morocco, Africa. This is the story of how on September 17, 2007, I became the 175th person and 24th American to cross the Strait of Gibraltar by swimming.
As I planned when I began the swim, I thought about the positives of the swim. I was prepared, I was confident, I was determined. At no time would I allow myself to think about the negatives that could loom large if I were to let them. The water is cold for my standards at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The water is choppy; four-foot swells from the west (the Atlantic). The ever present Gibraltar wind is about 10 to 15 miles per hour out of the west.
There are very big ocean freighters that are moving through the Strait
There are about three hundred per day for which to contend. My Spanish crew understands very little English, and I understand only a little Spanish. My ears are plugged for some extra thermal protection so I wouldn’t hear them anyway over the guide boat engine. Finally, I am not twenty or thirty or forty any more; I am 49 and a month from 50 years old.
I would love to swim the big prize; The English Channel. But I’m a skinny guy from Cleveland, Ohio; one needs to have some fat tissue for insulation to withstand ten hours in the water at 57 to 60-degree water temperature.
So why did I want to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar?
There are a lot of reasons. Initially, I wanted to do it because of the challenge. The goal seemed obtainable to me. It sounds exotic; swimming from Europe to Africa. My hobby is long distance swimming. I truly love swimming from point to point; through the elements and the thrill of making it to the other side.
Another big motivational force behind my desire to attempt this challenge came to me one day in church. It was a beautiful thing that happened. A visiting priest from Catholic Relief Services told the congregation of the great work that his organization was doing in Africa and around the world. The stories that the priest told of the unthinkable strife and suffering that the people are enduring in war-torn Africa spoke to my heart.
Learning about the aid that Catholic Relief Services provides to these folks is inspiring; emergency aid, medical care, education, infrastructure development and empowerment education brought feelings of pride of being part of that group; Catholics. With all the negative press the Catholic religion seems to get in America; I thought that it would be very worthwhile to tell a very positive side of the religion.
So there began a marriage made in heaven
I contacted CRS and proposed that I represent them on my swim to Africa. They would publicize the swim as a means to draw attention to the organization; and to raise money for their efforts in Africa.
As a matter of fact, I was interviewed by several newspapers and a Christian radio station. Therefore, I spread the word about what CRS did with joy and exuberance. With all the interviews and questions about CRS and why I was swimming from Europe to Africa, still the most frequent question was “What about the sharks?” Nonetheless, I am not concerned about sharks. Unless provoked; they are not interested in people. So I answered the question with a little humor, “Sharks are not interested in skinny guys from Cleveland.”
I learned of the swims existence also by chance. Nevertheless, I was waiting for a trolley car at Fisherman’s Warf San Francisco. The line to ride was rather long, so I began to look around. Right in front of me was the Dolphin Swim Club; established in 1865. Later I would find an account of several of their club members’ Gibraltar swim on their web site. It sounded tough but doable.
Why Learning How to Swim is So Important in One’s Life
Many people visit the beaches during their vacations with the idea of relaxing, getting the cool breeze and also swimming. The problem is that only a few of them know how to swim without the help of floaters. This is very risky since someone may swim to the deeper end and unfortunately drown. Anyway it is a rare case but wish you could know the kind of holiday you would have at the beach if only you knew how to swim.
I am 50 years old now and learned to swim when I was 5 years old. Many people in my neighborhood call me Mr. ‘dolphin’; since I can’t spend a single day without making a visit to the pool. Maybe you have been thinking of getting some swimming lessons but you don’t get the reasons as to why it can be a priority in your life. Am going to give you 5 reasons why swimming is very important to everyone from the young to the aged; slow to fast; beginners to competing athletes.
1. Swimming is a hobby
I grew up knowing how to swim and since then it has been my best hobby ever. It is always a pleasure to spend time in water and that is why many people consider spending their holidays in the beaches or in hotels that have nice swimming pools. A swim in my home-made pool every morning when I wake up; even before my breakfast makes me feel relaxed and physically fit.
After my daily chores I usually find it fun to join my swimming students in the pool every evening. Since when I was young, up to date I do socialize with many friends through activities such as jet skiing and surfing that you can only do in water. Now that have I have grown to be a trainer, I teach many young and old these skills and they are able to adapt.
2. Safety reason
As the saying goes; ‘accidents are never planned they just occur’, and ‘prevention is always better than cure’. You are bound to find yourself in water at one time or another; either by an accident like a flood or maybe you are on a boat trip and unluckily it overturns or so. The first and only choice you will have by then is only to swim for your dear life.
3. Rescuing other people
It once happened that when I was 11 years, I together with my elder friends; we decided to compete how to swim in the sea. At some point I noticed that the water level was deeper than my height and I was already tired to swim anymore. Fortunately my friends knew how to swim and they helped me out. If my friends never knew how to swim, maybe I could not be there to give you this advice.
When you know how to swim you might have the chance to save a drowning person near you. It is also good to advise your children not to swim into the deeper levels when swimming in the beach for fun.
4. Swimming is healthy
Swimming is the best fitness exercise ever among many exercises that do exist and am saying this out of experience. If you have any doubt about it then take your time and consult either physical therapists, fitness couches or any exercise physiologist; and they will give you the same word.
As I said am now 50 and many people who meet me for the first time think that am below 35 years old. However, I seem young, strong, and energetic, you might think that I hit the gym occasionally. But the truth is that I have never visited any power house. Swimming is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and in shape. I once went for a week without swimming; as I was having a business trip outside the county and I felt that my body lacked something important.
It is the ultimate all-in-one package that affects many aspects of life positively; mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Swimming helps build lung capacity and also in resisting illnesses such as asthma. It also helps in boosting metabolism as well as providing a natural cooling element for the body.
5. Swimming is a sport and a job
I personally term swimming as a sport as I have won many medals in many competitions. Today I mostly depend on it as a source of income and it is a well paying job as I am a professional trainer. Many people around the world today depend on this sport for their living; as they participate and even represent their nations in international competitions such as the Olympics.
With these reasons I hope now you have got the idea why swimming is so important for you. Consider it for your kids and for yourself; you are not so old to start some lessons. Remember you don’t need to be Mr. ‘dolphin’ too.
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