Last night was my first swimming class and it went fairly well. As suspected, the instructor wasn't stellar, but I wasn't exactly helping him out much either. Being in a new pool, wearing swim goggles for the first time, my fear of hitting my head on the gutter, and my usual panic because I don't know how to breathe when doing laps all played a part.
He literally had us jump into the deep end and start swimming. After doing two lengths of the pool (in my herky jerky -- when the heck do I breathe?) style, my heart was pounding out my chest. I actually had a little moment of panic, because I thought my blood sugar was plummeting. I had my Gatorade within reach on the pool deck, but once I caught my breathe, I felt much better. And never had that problem again.
He gave me pointers on things, but really nothing could be truly fixed until I mastered breathing, which he didn't go over.
So, after class I stayed at the pool for another hour and practiced what Janet Evan's suggests in her book, Total Swimming : blowing bubbles out of my nose while my face was under water. I did this for about ten minutes before it started to feel normal.
Then I realized that since I had never swum with goggles before, I was closing my eyes. So I practiced opening my eyes underwater. All of a sudden a world of tips and tricks opened up to me. That line on the bottom of the pool is for you to follow, and the "T" shaped mark at the end of the line warns you that the wall is approaching.
And then I spent 15 minutes teaching myself how to do a flip turn. I looked like an idiot, and I got water up my nose every time, but eventually I was able to swim to the wall, do a flip turn, and continue swimming. Success!! (Note: Out of the 6 other adults doing laps, I was the only one doing flip turns.)
Today I woke up relatively sore all over (especially in my upper back) but started the morning watching swimming videos on YouTube and learned a few more pointers that I look forward to putting in to practice.
Part of me wants to go back to the pool tonight to practice, but a bigger part of me knows it is smarter to rest up for tomorrow night.