This week started off with a lovely flight from London to Edmonton, relatively uneventful but not a lot of fun either. Nothing like getting up at 5 am just to sit like a praying mantis for 5 or 6 hours. I was really looking forward to get to the hotel – watch some football – and get some sleep, but for some strange reason I decided to go the master swim at the YMCA around the corner from the office.
Master swim instructor Alvin, who I will just call Yoda, had us jump and do a quick 200m warm up, and then says “let’s see your back stroke”, that should be easy, and off I go. I arrive back to a happy “you have much to learn young one” look.
Start off with the flutter board and kick your way down the pool. I am not much of a swimmer if I can’t use my arms, so as I slow make my way down the lane half drowning, half faking, and doing whatever it takes to move on to the next step, I struggle through a couple hundred more meters of this, and then Yoda has us do it while twisting side to side kicking as we go. “Core you need to use”, “use the core young one”, after another round of attempted drowning and fighting my way through probably 300m or so of this torture, we get to do it streamlined, then with just one arm over our head, then with one arm pulling with our fingers in a circle, and then when we final looked like we were all cooked he had us redo the backstroke using what we had just learned.
Well, holy crap! I can rotate in the water, and I can actually use my legs effectively. This almost feels unnatural and holy crap I am making really good time back and forth. I am completely amazed. I am just completely wiped at this point but I decide to do 50m free using this rotating technic, and to my stunned surprised I cruise in at exactly a minute. Now that my not seem impressive, but typically I run 1:10 to 1:15 per 50m while working hard at it. I am beat tired and shaved a cool 15 seconds off that. H-crap!
I barely make it back to the hotel as I am so tired, but what a day!
Tuesday I hit the gym for a little Yoga, and yep, I bend myself like I have never bent before, and I think I am getting better, but trust me, Yoga is not for the faint of heart!
Wednesday I head back for another Yoda session, of course I am running late, so I did a sprint to the YMCA from the hotel and make it before the warm up is over. Yoda decides that we are going to continue working on back stroke. Through the paces we go again. “Use the core young one”, he is starting to sound like John Luc – engage, 1/4 warp, 1/2 impulse, engage, engage, engage.
This time I feel like I actually did something kinda right, and finish the night cruising along with the rest if not a little faster then the rest. Trust me that never happens when I swim. So I finish up with a quick 50m free, and cruise in at 53 seconds.
Yoda is on his game! The young Jedi is learning!