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I Believe I Can Fly

But I Know I Can't Dance

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    Other Thoughts, Swimming Technique
26-Sep-2014 /  written by Ian Cross
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I Believe I Can Fly
“ Sometimes as a teacher you know people are doing ok, with a bit more work they can be that bloke on holiday enjoying the water or swim that first triathlon. In the end we have to believe it ourselves."

"There's no such word as can't!" annoying teachers used to say.

I'm terrible for believing I can't do things. I went to a Salsa class with Cheryl once and it felt like a living nightmare, made particularly hopeless by my too tight jeans hindering leg bend. They went straight on eBay.

I've been a keen swimmer all my adult life but always felt butterfly was for proper swimmers, competitive swimmers, people who'd learnt it as kids. A few years ago Cheryl and I had a lesson with the best butterfly swimmer we know, Vikki Harmer, who helped Steven Shaw develop his method of teaching fly. I made an effort to learn it but got to the point where I felt it was as good as it was going to get, not really butterfly.

This week Cheryl and I have had a week off teaching on our residential course, a personal development week. It's been good.  We've observed each other teaching the odd lesson and looked at each other's movement in the water. Cheryl says my hips are stiff.

It struck me for the first time yesterday that I can swim butterfly. Having left it, filed what I'd discovered, and returned to it, it seems my brain has sorted it out for me. It's good enough. And being a clumsy, uncoordinated bloke who can't dance or boil an egg, I'm quite proud of that.

I understand what people go through when they come on our course to learn to swim. Feelings like 'swimming isn't my thing', 'I can't coordinate this stroke', 'it doesn't feel right' can be overwhelming. Sometimes as a teacher you know people are doing ok; with a bit more work they can be that bloke on holiday enjoying the water or swim that first triathlon. In the end we have to believe it ourselves. Steven Shaw always made me feel l could do anything in the water. And now I believe I can fly, mainly thanks to the Shaw Way to Fly dvd.

I believe I can dance only when I've had a drink at New Year, with people I love and trust. I know for sure I like music but I'm definitely no John Travolta. But if I can do butterfly, if there's anything you think you can't do in the water.....you probably can!

Also see: Mediocrity and ExcellenceA Timeless Swim / It's all Right Once You're In / Swimming With A Hangover / Transform Your Day In 10 Seconds / Camp Training / Going it Alone / Tame Swimming / Slow Coach



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