Friday, November 12, 2004

No Lifeguards On Duty: Swim at Your Own Risk

There are two things you can find in Austin in stunning abundance: bands and All-American swimmers. Every Friday, there will be bands playing at the local Borders bookstore that would be headliners in other cities. And with the success of the University of Texas swim team, there are an equivalent number of All-American swimmers.

Why is why, in the coaching equivalent of performing at Borders, I'm getting a lesson from an All-American swimmer at 1:45 today. I know, it's totally ridiculous, but that's one of the things you do if you're an ex-swimmer and want to stay in Austin--you give swimming lessons to boat anchors like me.

Here's how I expect this lesson to go. To protect her identity, my instructor will be referred to as 'SPEED.'

SPEED: So the angle of your hand on the extension has a huge effect on how much lift you get. Thirty degrees is optimal.
ME: Look! My goggles don't leak!
SPEED: Now for the flip turn you want to sight on the bottom of the pool, not look toward the wall. When you hit your mark, that's when you start to glide.
ME: Me swim pretty!
SPEED: Let's start with the 'let me hold your head underwater and see how long you can hold your breath' drill.
ME: Okay!

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