What Is Synchronised Drowning?

Feb 25, 2016Encouragement, Inspiration, Writing

It’s the weekly swimming lesson and I am sitting on a balcony above the pool.

I have a birds-eye view of everything.

I am watching my daughter flailing through the water and trying to remember what that was like. She looks so uncoordinated. It looks like synchronised drowning.

She’s being swamped.

It’s funny to watch but I’m sure it’s not funny from her side.

She using all her might to get through the water and failing dismally.

Her goal is to go as fast as possible.

She is in a group with two boys and they are strong swimmers. They are also quite tall. She is tiny and half their size.

She is able to keep herself afloat, but as with many things, she wants to be three stages further than she actually is.

She is trying to cut corners and it’s not working.

The swimming teacher is frustrated.

She continues to remind my daughter to follow the technique that she has been taught. She’s not listening.

The trouble is that using the technique makes it feel like she’s going slower. This is not the reality.

She wants to beat the boys to the other side. Or, at the very least, keep pace with them. She is capable of it. But she has to do it the right way. She continually ignores this.

She thinks her way is better

She thinks her way is quicker.

She beats at the surface.

Water is going everywhere but she has no forward motion whatsoever. She thrashes around wildly with her legs. Not one limb is coordinating with another.

At best it looks like she trying to crawl through the water.

Water is not a solid entity and offers very little purchase. There is nothing to push off of and that is a necessity if you want to crawl. Water is the opposite. It offers resistance and it’s almost as though you need to push it aside in order to get anywhere.

The only thing she is being successful at is wearing herself out.

On occasions she does what the instructor says before resorting to her desperate attempt at speed.

When she does it the way she’s been taught, she glides effortlessly through the water.

It’s amazing to see.

I wished I’d had the same view of myself as a child. It’s practically an out-of-body thing.

It brings back memories of me doing the same thing.

I also ignored the instruction and tried to do it my way.

It’s the old adage of you have to walk before you can run.

In the case of swimming it appears, from where I’m sitting, that walking in water is much faster than running.

I have the same problem now.

I know how to swim but I seem to have forgotten how to apply it to other things. Although I’m a long way from any water the analogy corresponds.

I’m not swimming.

I’m drowning.

I’m actually controlling my own drowning–my own demise.

I need to step back and take a look it from the outside. Just like my daughter’s swimming, it must look funny. It must look strange. It is not clear what you’re trying to achieve.

From the outside you would have no inkling as to what I am trying to accomplish.

I am not the only one.

I am sure there a many of you out there practising the exact same thing.

We are performing synchronised drowning.

We have the idea that the way we are doing things is the most effective manner of performing the task. The trouble is that it is internalised.

We can’t see the big picture anymore.

We are pushing with all the strength we have, but we are not getting anywhere. We are lost in the process. We need to stop and step back for moment. We need to check that we are doing things in the best possible way.

We need to make sure our technique is correct.

Maybe we need to change it altogether.

I have to remind myself that it is good practise to stop every now and then.

I sense I’m wearing myself out.

I am putting an enormous amount of effort into something. It is moving forward, but not at the pace I would like it to.

Trying to force it is not working.

I can achieve the same with a lot less effort.

I just need to apply the right technique.

If I think about it, I’m doing that already.

Rest assured I’m not drowning. I’m learning.

I don’t know the all the swimming strokes and my limbs are not yet coordinated.

But, one day soon, they will be.

And I’ll get where I’m going to..


Are you swimming or drowning?


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