Twenty Three

February 23, 2009

While I’m swimming, I sing songs in my mind.
– Aleksandr Popov [Russian Swimmer]

What goes through your mind while you are swimming? Is it John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt or do you plan your day or run over conversations or events from the day?  Or do you just tune out?



  1. 1000 yards at the Visser Y.

    What runs thru my head when I swim?
    Well I have to keep telling myself to breath out the whole time my face is in the water or else I can’t get enough air in fast enough, and then there’s the thought of “this sucks”, “why am I doing this?” “oh hey, that chick in the lane over there is hot”. Holy crap that guy is fast ”
    Just stuff like that.

    On a side note: as I was leaving the locker room this morning a guy walked in sporting the Team Reach Tri-top. I had no idea who he is but that’s the first one I have seen at the gym this year.

  2. 3000 yards this morning at EK. A friend brought an underwater video camera, so I should have some video to post soon…wonderful tool to evaluate your stroke.

    what do i think about? during short sets, i think about turnover and kick and technique. during long swims i zone out completely. no songs, no thoughts, just wasted mental time. it’s bizarre, must be all the chlorine in the brain!

    5 more days!

  3. 2400 Yards at the DDH YMCA
    I usually let my mind wander. I have my best swims when I can zone out and get into that transcendental state – I need a waterproof iPod shuffle though. swimman.com makes one that I want really bad (hint hint Becky)

  4. 1600 at MVP this morning.

    For what I think about – well, this morning I was trying to figure out what songs were being played in case I wanted to sing along. Who let the dogs out unfortunately came on and I’ve been singing it all day now (Ugh). Most of the time I count 1, 2, 3 for a breath (just habit from when I started??) over and over and over…all while trying to keep track of how many laps I’ve done or what’s next in the workout. Needless to say I get confused sometimes. Especially when I let my mind wander (which happens from time to time too!)

  5. video from this morning:

  6. 900yds at DDH. What do I think about…man where do I begin. As a novice swimmer, at first I was just trying to make it to the other end of the pool with out sucking in a ton of water or sinking to the bottom. One day Rudy suggested I try learning to breath on both sides, and I am proud to say that I can actually do that now. Usually while I am swimming I am thinking about my mechanics and trying to be more efficient but because I cannot see myself it is tough. I would like to to what JR did and film myself. I could then post it on Youtube on what NOT to do while swimming. Today all I thought about was 5 more days!!!

  7. 1550 yards @ HAC.

  8. 1200 yards @ EGR. 1st one at the pool, 1st one in the pool.

    Cool moment: an older-ish guy who is there every single day the pool is open, and who-I-have-seen-there-for-a-year-but-he-never-talks-to-me, actually brightened and smiled and said, “hey” when he saw me today. “I am a real swimmer!”, I thought to myself.

    What do I think about? In nor particular order: the book, Life of Pi, for some reason I cannot quite understand… where I am in a set… whatever’s troubling me… my general technique and breathing… how long anything is (or isn’t) taking me that day… a lot goes on in my head during a swim. That said, there is a lovely meditative quality to swimming that I really enjoy, especially when everything’s clicking together. I tend to overschedule [Those who know me are saying, “No! Jen! Say it isn’t so!”] and I find swimming a welcome respite from the constant traffic jam that is my life. Also, different from running (in my experience), technique is so much more important and something I need to constantly work on, especially when I’m tired.

    This is beyond the question, but during the past month I have imagined myself frequently as a character in a movie. You know the part of a movie where the character is learning something (that you know will be pivotal to their development later in the plot) and there are several edited together scenes that indicate the passage of time and the continuous effort the character is making? … the place where it’s a lot of work but no clear payoff? I feel like that about the February Swim Challenge — just a lot of faith that some good will come of it — although some days it does have a “time-to-make-the-doughnuts” quality to it.

  9. 1000 meters at MVP: closed out the pool because there was no WAY I was getting up at 5a this morning when I had gone to bed at midnight on Sunday (Oscars). Realized the hard way that the pool and the locker rooms close at the same time.

    I hate closing out the pool.

    If I think, it is 1-2-3 breathe…or (I think as I breathe in) “Yah” and (as I breathe out) “weh”. Yah-weh. Yah-weh. Yah-weh. Every once in a while, a number floats through my head – like the lap I am on – but not so much by this time of the month because I can just feel it by the way I break it up into different “strokes”…My favorite is when you reach that transcendental state to which Rudy referred when time passes and everything flows well.

    Now I need to go pass out and start again in 6 hours. 😉

  10. 1200 yards at DDHY.

    I keep thinking, “1200 yards left, 1175 yards left, 1150 yards left, 1125 yards left, 1100 yards left, …..)

  11. 1200 yards before pool league last night…only a few more days left all…keep up the work!

  12. I was so very close to quitting today. I was watching Adaptation and thinking “This is the best Nick Cage will ever get and it isn’t even that good.” I looked up and it was 8:30PM. I slowly decided to go to EGR and I got in a 1600 set. I am very happy I went. I have been unmotivated as of late and I feel crappy about it.

    What do I think of when I swim? I think back on this video of me in my first year of swimming. Chris Sullivan’s mom taped a 200 yard free of me for some reason and I was watching it after the season one day with Sullivan and I was like “Wow that kid has a long stroke and is totally kicking my ass.” Sullivan explained to me that the kid winning was me. That was after sixth grade and I was about to give up swimming. That was the only reason I kept swimming all those years. I always think “long powerful strokes” to this day.

  13. .5 mi.

  14. 1000 at Visser.

  15. 2500 yards EK

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