I hope to be mixing the posts up again soon, but my life has been mostly work and trying to stay warm recently. Just in cause you're new, here's Swim Lesson #1 and Swim Lesson #2.
Today's lesson was great. The 3 of us that can swim are all at different points now, so Mary (the instructor) works with us individually, gives us something to practice, and then works with the next person. I started out with a freestyle lap and a back stroke lap for warm up. After that, I worked on flip turns more. I started by practicing the flip and pushing off the wall, which is where we ended last week. It took me a while to get the feel for the proper amount of rotation to push off with the most power. You want to be about 3/4ths of the way around so your legs are parallel to the surface of the water as you push off.
When I was comfortable with the flip and push, Mary had me add turning over onto my stomach as I came off the wall. That wasn't too difficult to add in, although I'm trying to decide which direction I prefer to turn. Once I was able to complete all the steps - flip, push, turn, I practiced swimming to the wall and then completing the flip turn. This was actually quite difficult because you have to time your strokes so you can take a breath before the turn and be the proper distance from the wall as you start your turn. On my first attempt I ended up with a large quantity of water up my nose. It did get better after that and soon I decided to swim an actual lap. I'd started out in shallow water, swimming the width of the pool.
I got to the wall in the deep end and was rewarded with more water up my nose. I practiced the flip and push off a few times in the deep end so I couldn't use the bottom of the pool for support. When I felt comfortable with the turn in the deep end, I added swimming back in. Finally, by the end of class, I was able to swim to the wall, complete a flip turn and keep swimming. This is a lot harder than stopping to rest at the wall as I had done previously.
This was a pretty difficult move, but I'm glad to have the basics down. I especially like that it will allow me to develop more endurance since I won't be stopping every 25 yards, which will translate to being able to better complete an open-water swim.