Tag Archives: swimming

Sam’s Guide to Swimming

Swimming is an art form just like competitive street polo and professional Hungry Hungry Hippos. It is relatively quick to pick up, but mastering it takes a lifetime.

When swimming, if you find that you tend to sink to the bottom of the pool easily, not to worry. It is simply that you are heavy. No, you’re not fat. You’re just dense. No, not stupid, just, well, never mind.

In ancient prehistory, our ancestors were the ultimate endurance swimmers. We would swim for miles chasing the large fish that once inhabited the African ocean until they’d eventually become exhausted and be unable to continue to flee. Modern humans have fish delivered to their doorsteps already killed and cooked, and they no longer use these skills, but they lay dormant in all of us. One day in the near future the carbon generated by our fish delivery systems will heat the atmosphere to the point that the icecaps melt and the entire world will be one great African Ocean, and the people that survive will be the ones who can best return to these ancient practices. Kurt Vonnegut agrees with me.

In a modern pool, one of the most important secrets to swimming faster is to be able to turn around quickly when one reaches the wall. The commonly accepted technique to deal with this is the flip turn. Here is a professional performing a flip turn. Be wary, though, pool walls are something humans never dealt with during our evolution, and thus can be very dangerous. As an amateur, you should be sure to have someone nearby to resuscitate you when water gets in your nose and you drown. With practice, you will learn to stay conscious long enough to get to the surface and clear your nose of water to breathe again. Good safety practices have dramatically reduced the high death rate from flip turns in the history of the sport of swimming.

In this modern era, it is tempting to sit on your couch and have cooked fish delivered to your door. Remember that you can take better care of yourself if you drive to the supermarket to buy fish and cook it yourself with only a small amount of added oil and salt. Swimming in a pool is also good for your health, once you have mastered the technique of not dying. So get out there and swim!

Image Credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/d5/ea/5d/d5ea5dc123ba7402dc950f41384f2815.jpg


Swimmer’s Ear

“We need to get some information before we can schedule a consultation with the doctor. Now these questions may get a little repetitive,” said the voice on the line. Her name was Amanda and she had gotten snippy when I’d been rude to her earlier, so she was definitely human.

“Ok.” I winced and moved the phone to my other ear.

“What’s your name?”

I told my name, carefully enunciating the letters.

“Ok, thank you. Now, what’s your name?”

I repeated my name.

“Thank you. Now can I get your name?”

I gave my name.

“What is the name of the patient requesting this consultation?”

I gave my name.

“What is your phone number?”

I gave my phone number.

“And an alternate phone number?”

I gave a backup phone number.

“And what is the name on the account?”

I gave Alice’s name.

“And what is your name?”

“I gave you my name already. Can we just skip these steps?”

“I’m sorry, this is required. What is your name?”

I sighed and gave my name.

This continued for thirty minutes. When I was connected to a doctor, he told me to stick my finger in my ear. “Does it hurt?” he asked. “Yes.” I said. Then he prescribed me ear drops and the strongest pain relievers he could offer. When I said I could handle the pain and it was mostly just annoying, he said, “Oh, just the drops, then.”

Alice says I should throw caution into the wind and swim even if it will exacerbate my ear. I have a policy of never doing exercise that will make me less healthy. That is the only value of exercise in my mind, so I do not have much to say to people who might think me lazy or cowardly for stopping for health concerns.

It’s going to be challenging to tell my triathlon team I have to bow out for a week, but I can try and make it up in the following weeks. I decided not to make my classic “this is proof exercise is bad for you” joke since I don’t want to discourage other people in the group who are trying to use this as an opportunity to get moving. That joke’s starting to seem a little immature anyway.

Honestly, I’m frustrated. I really did like the swimming, and I’m looking forward to getting this cleared up so I can jump back in the pool.