Swimming Against the Tide

Published by Paul Hatcher on

The other day, I was in the pool (I am now seriously getting into learning a revolutionary method of swimming that enables you to swim faster and further WITHOUT feeling so exhausted – it’s called Total Immersion and I am learning as much as I possibly can – slowly but surely.)

Anyway, I had been practising the techniques in the baby pool and then thought I should do a few lengths in the main pool.

Total Immersion front crawl

Whilst resting for a few seconds at the end of the pool, I watched this guy come towards me, who reminded me of myself. He was moving reasonably fast but he was thrashing around like there was a pack of piranhas gobbling him up! His head was swinging from one side to the other so fast that I feared he would be too dizzy to continue.

Obviously, I am no expert at all but I could not help feeling like this guy could benefit hugely from at least hearing about my own experience of Total Immersion swimming and how you can almost instantly improve your swimming – irrespective of where you’re starting from.

I watched him do the exact same stroke all the way back to the other end of the pool, and when I got there myself, he was still catching his breath.

I mustered up some courage, given that as I say, I am no expert at all when it comes to swimming but I do know the difference I have experienced, and so I said to him, “Excuse me mate, how many lengths can you swim like that?”

He looked across from his concentrated gaze of catching his breath and said, “I don’t know really. About four I suppose.”

‘Interesting,’ I thought to myself, ‘that was about all I could manage when I swam like that, albeit not as fast.’

I launched out a bit deeper, “So I’ve been learning to swim all over again for a triathlon I’m doing, Until recently, I couldn’t swim with my head down, doing the front crawl. Do you find that you that you get tired with your head up while you swim? I used to get tired so quickly, until I learned how to swim with my head down and then applied some other techniques which I’ve learned with this thing called Total Immersion swimming.”

He thought about it for a few seconds and then said, “No mate, I swim with my head down and just go as fast as I can for as long as I can. I know I need to improve but I’ve only just given up smoking, so I’ve got a long way to go.”

What part of that exchange sounds wrong to you?

I’ll tell you.

“I swim with my head down.”

For a brief few seconds, I literally thought I had approached the wrong person. It was only after he set off again that I knew it was the same guy.

How could he possibly think he swam with his head down in the water?

front crawl

Denial is a massive source of deception.

Or perhaps pride simply wouldn’t allow him to acknowledge the reality of his stroke.

Either way, if you choose to ignore the truth about your stroke, your story, your friendships, your work, your family, your marriage; you may find yourself splashing around aimlessly, gasping for breath, wondering how on earth you can go any further.


Paul Hatcher

I am at heart, a communicator. I love to use words, whether written or spoken and maximise those words to hopefully, bring some encouragement - literally, to put courage into the hearts & minds of those who read or hear them. In my work as an executive coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, I love also to listen...deeply, and then respond with some encouragement.