February 2013

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live on the move Taking the Plunge Into Swimming By Ann Imig As a child of the ���80s in Madison, I learned to swim from my Camp Shalom counselors on the shores of Lake Monona, proudly collecting my Red Cross cards from beginner through advanced swimmer. I also spent hours practicing my strokes, and pretend water ballet dancing at Shorewood Hills Pool. While I adored swimming, I never could comprehend how the swim team kids powered through hundreds Where to Go: of laps, and I positively marveled In addition to classes at their flip-turns. As I aged into at SwimWest, adult beginadulthood, somehow I aged out ners can ���nd instruction at of swimming, favoring other a range of pools and ���tness forms of exercise. I wondered if locales around town including Harbor Athletic Club, Maditaking an adult swim class and son Schools & Commubrushing up my decades-old nity Recreation and technique might plunge me back more. into my love for swimming. Swim instructor Taylor Berry invited my classmates and I to jump right into the pool for our 30-minute group lesson. Typically I favor streaming Netflix over streaming in the swimming pool for a January evening, but SwimWest���s warmwater pool eased the shock to my system. The other three adults in our class���which is kept small to allow for more one-onone instruction���were all non-swimmers after just one lap of freestyle. But Berry had looking to learn the basics, while I hoped simple tips that made an immediate impact. to gain a few tips to revamp my skills. She noticed that I took my head further out Berry started beginners by teaching of the water than necessary to breathe, and breathing and kicking off the side of the showed me how to roll my shoulders back pool, while she watched me swim a couple and adjust my head position to easily turn lengths and assessed my form. my cheek and breathe like a pro. She also The verdict? Despite the fact that I exerreminded me to exhale all of my breath cise regularly, I found myself sucking wind while in the water, so I didn���t waste energy exhaling before inhaling. After these quick adjustments, I felt less exhausted after each lap. I also realized that paying attention to my form slowed me down to a less frantic, more maintainable pace. Thanks to Berry, I left feeling confident about my strokes and after 30 minutes, felt all the more deserving of my Netflix time. Bonus? Berry taught me to flip-turn. Your body on swimming: Water creates resistance for all of the major muscle groups, helping tone your body from head to toe. Plus, any new swimmer will immediately notice the intense cardio of powering through laps. 16 BRAVA Magazine Your mind on swimming: Being submerged entirely underwater���only in tune with my body���made it easy for me to see how people get hooked on the meditative vibe swimming offers. February 2013 What if I���m terri���ed of the water? Beginner lessons are a perfect way to ease into swimming, and instructors will assess your skills so they can teach to your level. Does it help for triathlon training? Lessons can help with form, but if you���re hoping to build endurance you might look for a coach, training group or partner (and you won���t want to train in warm water). Photo by Sarah Maughan The Dish on Swimming

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