Inspiring-swimming-story-by-MatthijsMy name is Matthijs, I live in the Sidhadorp (translated sidha-village), Netherlands. It’s not really a village, it’s more like a part of Lelystad and people with different beliefs come here to meditate. Well mostly I just call this part of Lelystad the Hippy village :).

I was raised in this village; it’s a very cool place to grow up in, especially that I had the chance to learn and practice swimming, surfing, skating and Aikido.

I studied Civil Engineering and moved on to get involved in Internet Marketing. Right now I consult in web development and e-commerce.

I’m an explosive type of person; I love to burst out in energy; but there was a time when I wasn’t all that energetic. 10 years ago, I developed an allergy on chlorine, which made me stop swimming, and then after that I was diagnosed with Pfeiffer. But fortunately, it wasn’t the end of sports for me. I got back up by doing a lot of other activities. And with Ayurveda treatments and my amazing girlfriend, I got much better!

Now at the age of 28, with my allergies all gone, I am trying to get back into swimming again.

My first day back in the pool was 2 weeks ago. I was really excited about it, and I can’t deny being nervous as well. I didn’t have the time to buy goggles and a decent swimsuit, so I swam in large beach trunks (yes, with the pockets!!).

The club where I went swimming doesn’t have a coach. I think it’s because people who swim there are mostly from an older generation, and there are very few competitive swimmers that come by.

Imagine 15 people together in the pool without coaches. It can get very chaotic.

Lane six was designated to the faster swimmers. I was swimming in lane five, not because I considered myself fast, but only because I had met these two other swimmers who seemed fun, and I wanted to swim with them :). Maybe I should have thought that through…

The warm-up:

  • 100m freestyle
  • 100m medley
  • 100m freestyle
  • 100m medley

Then:

  • 300m medley
  • 300m breast stroke
  • 300m medley
  • 300m breast stroke

For dessert: 50m butterfly

Cooling down: Just some relaxing swimming

I felt Ok. My legs where fine, until the 50m butterfly. I tried to swim a bit faster since it was only 50m, but that was a big mistake, especially that I sprained my leg at the end. Silly me! But I think I did pretty well considering that I had no goggles on and I was wearing the wrong type of swimsuit.

To sum up, I think this is what went wrong exactly:

  • In the warm-up, I started too hard. I had trouble finding my breathing rhythm like the old days.
  • My butterfly technique isn’t that good. Even 10 years ago when I used to swim 100m of butterfly, I mostly swam the last lap while holding my breath, because I’d always lose my breathing rhythm, which used to make the longer swims a nightmare for me.
  • I didn’t create my own pace. I need to focus on my strokes for now, because if I don’t I’ll just make a mess out of it.

My plan:

Swimming is my passion. I really missed it! And if they let me participate in competitions again, then I’ll give it my all and see where I get.

Since I’ll be swimming without a real coach for now, I decided to adopt a virtual one.

I think with Instabeat I’ll be able to swim 50 to 60% better, without destroying myself 🙂

My girlfriend’s father also recommended a book for me about a swimmer who practiced transcendental meditation to improve his swimming. I haven’t read it yet, but I’d like to see if I can follow the instructions in it, and have it compliment my training.

The book is “Body, Mind and Sport”, by John Douillard.

Meanwhile, I will keep working on my techniques and try to learn from other swimmers’ experiences. I shot a video of my latest workout; I’d love to hear your comments and tips! Any advice would really help me out!

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