Suffer from “dense leg syndrome”?
I fall into the last two. I wannabe a swimmer but I suffer from “dense leg syndrome”. Yes, that is an official diagnosis…that I have made up.
After a swim a little over a week ago, I sent an email to the two coaches of the group I’m training with this season. During that swim, I had to throw the pull buoy between my legs for the last two-thirds of the workout.
That’s pretty much the ENTIRE workout!
Why did I have to do that? Well, after the warm-up and just starting into the main set, my legs started to fatigue so much where they felt like dead weight. They eventually started falling to the bottom of the pool. Each time my toes would touch the bottom while I was “swimming freestyle,” I would quickly bounce my legs back up. But, I could not do that the whole time, particularly for my own sanity!
This reminded me of last year when I could not swim at all and suffered from this curse! Putting that pull buoy between my legs was my only savior. It helped me build confidence and actually had me completing my workouts, but it was a crutch. Or, was it? I mean I would be swimming with a wetsuit during races, so it’s pretty much the same thing, right? Ohhhh…I LOVED the couple times I did workouts with my full wetsuit in the pool! Those workouts went quickly–so quick that the sun was still out when I left the gym!
Anyway, back to the pull buoy… yes, it IS a crutch when not part of drills, especially because I relied on it so heavily! To think that I thought I had graduated from needing that stupid thing beyond drills!
Let’s complicate my neurotic thoughts of how bad a swimmer I was because I did not hear back from the coaches. I figured they had already given up, packed up, and left the stadium. But, that was not the case.
I got to the group workout on Tuesday. And, I was EARLY! Yes, I’m never early. I’m either late or just on time. But, I was glad I was early because Coach Craig spotted me while he was yelling rest intervals to folks in the pool and called me over.
He handed me two kickboards. Great, I have to do kicking drills as punishment for sending them that message! No, he actually wanted me to do some floating, with the kickboards holding me up at my waist and my arms and legs extended forming an “X”.
He told me to also think of my butt, calves, and back of my head just clearing the surface of the water. For my butt and calves, that really involved some adjustment-serious activation of my core, particularly by needing to flatten out the small of my back. But, to REALLY get my “dense parts” up, I had to really think about just the back of my head clearing the top of the water. What I was doing was almost looking forward, which was driving my bottom half down. So, I had to tuck my chin in a little closer to my chest. That tucking led to me feeling like I was tilting forward. But, I was in fact now level in the pool.
WHOA! WHAT A NEW FEELING! THEY CALL THIS “BALANCE”!
The only way I can describe this new feeling is how I have read or heard before. I was “swimming over” something like a barrel. THAT is what it REALLY feels like. And, it’s a weird feeling that takes some getting use to. However, it’s worth getting use to when you’re able to get from one end of the pool to the other with LESS effort and FASTER!
That was how the rest of the evening felt. And, I could not have been happier!!!
So, if you would like to be cured like I was, do just as I did and spend 5-10 minutes feeling the water just as I did. I guarantee you will thank me after you get the water out of your ears!