Hi, I’m Christophe. I started this website as a hobby in 2010 to share my passion for swimming.
I wasn’t really a swimmer before 2003. Furthermore, up to that point, I could only swim breaststroke. But then a set of circumstances brought me back to the pool.
I started to swim regularly and improved up to the 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 anyone can achieve this. 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 below.
We had mandatory swimming lessons in elementary school. Every other 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. However, I always envied good swimmers and would have liked 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 your breaststroke and learning backstroke and front crawl. So I decided to sign up.
The lessons lasted for ten weeks, with one lesson per week. To be honest, my swimming technique improved a bit. However, when the lessons ended, I still couldn’t swim a whole length of front crawl without struggling and swallowing a lot of water.
I wasn’t born to be a good swimmer, or so it I thought.
The summer of 2003 was quite hot here in Western Europe. So I often went for a swim to escape the heat. After a while, I began rehearsing the swimming drills I had learned three years before while taking the swimming lessons mentioned above.
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 makes you practice specific swimming drills in a logical sequence while focusing on sensory feedback and relaxation. Swimming this way feels a bit like meditating in the water and is quite 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 challenging swim stroke to master.
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 sports 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 details. To improve you need a first to swim smarter rather than harder.
This often means the mindful practice of specific drills to correct one’s 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?
Do you have an interesting story about swimming to tell? Feel free to share it in the comments below…