On a good day, I am able to dip into the swimming pool and swim 2.5km in one shot, albeit being slow at it. It happened two weeks ago when I joined some friends at the Shah Alam aquatic center. Knowing some of them were there to train for the upcoming swimathon, I knew the distance to swim that day will surely be more than 1.5km. I was doubtful to be able to complete that pre-requisite distance since I’ve not been swimming for quite a while. Fortunately my energy level was there and every part of my body behaved well. So I just swam and swam and swam, and stopped once completed a total of 2500m with some extra energy to go further if I wanted to.
Well, that was on a good day.
On a bad day, I can’t even swim 200m without stopping in between. Just like what happened last Saturday morning at Bukit Jalil National aquatic center. I arrived at the pool with an ambition to hit 3000m, but nothing worked in sync with the goal. Not even close. Heck, I think I swam less than 1000m. However, the presence of some well-known-funny guys made it a day nonetheless.
I managed to convince Shakhir to join me for the swim, knowing that he had some obligation with his kids making him unable to hit the tarmac with his two-wheelers as he usually does. Syah, Ian, Saiful and Azmar also came. Once we hit the water, the fun began. The focus of attention went to Shakhir, as it was the first time we met for a swim training. He was determined to be better at swimming so we showered him with loads of tips and corrections of his current swimming style. And being joker ourselves, every little points shared became a reason to laugh more and more.
On a separate note, I now know where Syah’s turbo button is hidden. I was swimming behind him, following closely behind the smooth bubble trail he left behind his feet. Then, I purposely tickled his feet as a sign that I’m following him. Out of surprised, that triggered his turbo engine and instantly he changed into a speedboat and all I could see was bubbles and bubbles. Ini orang sangat marabahaya woo. Mengalahkan dugong.
Anyway, about swimming, I acquired the skill and knowledge the hard way, and the long way. I remembered the times where I was so envious to see swimmers doing laps upon laps when I can’t even swim half the pool. I even found it weird that people can float in the water just by doing some kicking and waving actions.
Back then I was a shy guy who was afraid to ask people to teach me how to swim (now I’m still a shy guy... percayalah. hehe). So, I spent lots of time observing how other people swim. Then I mimic them. I spend a good 3 months or more just to be able to swim front crawl (a.k.a. free-style) for 25m without panting or drowning. Another couple of months to observe and learn how to thread water (i.e. floating). It was a long process indeed.
The reason for not taking a swimming coach is that I’m not a patience kind of guy (albeit being a shy guy). I don’t have the patience to be repetitively asked by the coach to do something that I am not good at doing. You know, in swimming there are lots of individual drills you have to master before combining everything and form a front crawl, or breast stroke. There’s the kicking drill, the one arm stroke drill, the body balancing drill, the single and bilateral breathing drill, and many more. And the stamina for long distance swimming does not come that easily as well.
Either way, with coach or without coach, the moral of the story (fullamak!!) is that, if you put your effort into it and stay focus to get what you want, you will get what you want even though you initially think you can’t do it.
So, with a Saturday well spent in the pool laughing more than swimming, I made a plan to go for a long run on Sunday morning. That didn’t happen either as I was feeling lazy to drive 40km all the way just to run. So, with the leftover mood of swimming from the day before, I made myself a coach for my little prince for his first swim training. His first lesson was backstroke.