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Today is exactly fifty-one weeks since my first swimming lesson with my teacher, Eddie Langer.

Today, I had my first Advanced Swim class (!!!!) with Eddie. Lucky me; I’m the only person in the class so far. The first time I took Intermediate Swim, last March, I was also the only person in the class. In those eight weeks, I made a lot of progress (and learned the breaststroke, for real!) and I expect it will be the same this time.

Today was kicking drills–flutter kick, with a kickboard. I have a weak kick, which is surprising, because I have strong legs. I’ve improved my freestyle in the last few months, but Eddie pointed out it’s because my upper body is doing most of the work. I know that’s true, because I have visible, defined collarbones and biceps for the first time in thirty years. So today was kick, kick, kick, kick, and kick, kick, kick, kick, on one side and then on the other, freestyle; and then backstroke, kick, kick, kick, kick, and kick, kick, kick, kick on one side and then on the other. And, again. And again.

When class was over, I went down to the large pool and swam laps for three quarters of an hour, no stopping. It was only my second time in the last two weeks, because the large pool had been closed for renovations…and it was sublime. I felt like I was slow today, but somehow I got in three in more laps in the same amount of time. Maybe the drills helped more than I thought they would.

I know Eddie is going to have me work on the stuff I don’t like to do (kicking drills) but need to work on (more kicking drills), and I’m going to do what he says (still more kicking drills). It worked with my Breaststroke Problem (where I looked like a crazy frog until I got the timing right), so I know it’ll work with my Kicking Problem.

Next week, I am bringing my fins for drills (five laps with fins, two without, rinse, repeat). I LOVE swimming with fins, so this will be lots of fun. I’ll try to get a finned practice in before next Sunday, too.

So thanks, Eddie, for your patient tutelage. I’m going to do what you say, because you’ve been right about everything from the start, fifty-one weeks ago. I may not like the drills, but I LOVE their effect, and that’s a great life lesson.

Patience attains all it strives for.

(That’s from one of my favorite prayers, by St. Teresa of Avila.)


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