Although this is not officially a new year, September is, for most of us, the best time to start anew. Kids are back in school, crazy summer schedules and activities are over, the weather is still good. September means change, it is the time to get used to the new schedule, plan the year and make sure you set aside some time for YOU, to take care of yourself and your own wellbeing. You will be a better and less-stressed parent, partner, and person from it.
If you have chosen swimming as your enjoyable sport, it is the time to start before it gets dark and cold. You need to establish an enjoyable consistent swimming schedule before winter arrives and the busy holiday season hits.
If you are new at it, or it has been a very long time since you have seen a pool, commitment, consistency, and technique are the keys. First, COMMITMENT: you need to commit to it. Just getting to the pool and getting in the water is the first and hardest step. Maybe joining your local pool and buying a 10 or 20 visits punch card might do the trick. If available, joining a master swim team will also help you. Next is CONSISTENCY: you need to have it on your schedule and stick to it, especially as you start, since it will not be an enjoyable habit before a few weeks (usually at least 8 to 12 weeks). During that time, set small achievable goals and assess and celebrate those improvements. Keep it fun, do it with a friend. It is the time to be consistent, but keep it real and achievable. It is not the time to be the overachiever. Last is TECHNIQUE: learning the proper technique and a good feel for the water is the best way to enjoy it, avoid injuries and see quick and tremendous improvements thru efficiency. Oregon Master Swimming is organizing a swim clinic in Hood River on October 30, 2022. Think about attending.
If you are a swimmer and have already established that enjoyable swimming routine, it might be the time to spice it up a little bit. You might be the perfect candidate to join a team and benefit from the support of teammates and a coach. You may also attend a clinic and/or take some swim lessons to improve your technique. Even the best swimmers will benefit from working on technical aspects of their strokes: their underwater streamline, their starts and turns, their kick, learning some dryland exercises. Spice up your routine too. How often do you work on your worst stroke? If you are a long-distance swimmer, how often do you do a speed workout? If you are a sprinter, how often do you do a long freestyle set? Maybe it is time to register for one of the postal swims!!! If you are not a kicker, how often do you do a kick workout or set? Keep it fun, but do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone from time to time. You will be proud of yourself, and feel like you have achieved and conquered a new challenge.