Hi, my name is Christophe. I run this website as a hobby and wrote most articles on it.
Before 2003, I seldom swam and only knew the breaststroke. But then a set of circumstances brought me back to the pool.
I started to swim regularly and improved up to a point that I can now swim all four competitive swimming strokes. In 2006 I even took part in a triathlon.
Given the right instructions, I think this can be achieved by anyone. So I started this website to help other people learn how to swim, and to have fun in the process.
You can read about my swimming journey in more details below…
We had mandatory swimming lessons in elementary school. Every
week, a bus drove us to a swimming pool in the next town. The
instructor was old school and taught us how to swim
the hard way (which means there were many “sink or swim” moments).
I was only an average swimmer. Nevertheless, I always liked being in the water. When I finally left elementary school, I could swim several lengths of breaststroke in a row, but the other swim strokes still eluded me.
The following years I rarely swam. If it did happen, most of the time it was to have fun with my friends rather than swim. Yet I always watched good swimmers, and wanted to be able to swim like them.
Baywatch was popular during my teenage years, and being a safeguard at the beach surrounded by fit and beautiful women was one of my dreams :-). But sadly I still couldn’t swim freestyle, and I kept dreaming.
In the year 2000, I saw an ad for swimming lessons in a local newspaper. The lessons were intended for people who had some basic swimming skills. The focus was on improving the breaststroke, and learning the backstroke and the front crawl. So I decided to sign up.
The lessons lasted for 10 weeks, with one lesson per week. To be honest, my swimming technique improved a bit. Yet when the lessons ended, I still couldn’t swim one length of freestyle without struggling and swallowing a lot of water.
I wasn’t born to be a good swimmer, or so it I thought.
In 2003 we had a hot summer here in Western Europe. So I often went swimming to escape the heat. After a while, I began rehearsing the swimming drills I had learned three years earlier while taking the aforementioned swimming lessons.
Finally, after three weeks of practice, I was able to swim one length of freestyle without too much trouble. This was a big success and motivated me to keep improving.
One day while browsing the Internet, I stumbled across Terry Laughlin’s Total Immersion method. Total Immersion is remarkable in that it teaches you swimming more like an art than a sport. This appealed to me as I have a background in martial arts.
Total Immersion lets you practice particular swimming drills in a logical sequence, while focusing on sensory feedback and relaxation. Swimming this way feels like meditating in the water and is very enjoyable.
Total Immersion was a turning point for my swimming and allowed me to improve a lot. At times I was so motivated I swam five times a week and even set out to learn the butterfly stroke, probably the most difficult swim stroke to learn.
The highlight of my swimming career was a team triathlon I did in 2006. I had to complete the swim leg, a distance of about 700 meters (765 yards).
Even though it was more exhausting than I thought, I still managed to get out of the water at about the 40th place in a field of 60 swimmers. This was a feat I wouldn’t have been able to do a few years earlier.
Sadly, I got an ankle injury from running a few months later. It prevented me for a few years to take part in sport competitions. But I still managed to work on my technique with drills and relaxed swimming.
The key lesson I learned over the years is that swimming well requires a lot of attention to detail. To improve you need a first to swim smarter rather than harder.
This often means mindful practice of particular drills to correct your technique, and not churning out laps.
Besides, swimming smarter is a lot more enjoyable than swimming harder. And you need to enjoy yourself to keep swimming for hopefully many years.
So the purpose of this website is to teach you what I’ve learned over the last few years since I started to swim again. Who knows, maybe swimming will become one of your passions too?
What’s Your Swimming Story?
I’m sure you also have an interesting swimming story to tell. So feel free to share it in the comments below…