Total Pageviews


Monday, March 5, 2018

Swimming Class Log By James Wu

On a random day at work, was having a casual chat with Anthony and he was commenting on a variety of topics and authors that his roadblog101 had.

He commented that perhaps I should join in and add an article on my own, and in my mind, I was thinking why not, so I wrote the experience down to help in the learning. Here we go...

Reason for picking up swimming:
Come 1st quarter of 2017, I had a reflection and decided to take up new skills for myself on a personal end and pick swimming as a first to start things off on track...

Choice for pick up swimming
Scouting and searching on the internet and reason for picking Happy Fish school:

Screenshot of the swimming school site.

- Went online and browsed though, after scouting for reviews and costing, picked Happy Fish school, reason being it had the cheapest rates... :)
I gather it's more to start things rolling and practice matters more, hence the learning. Costing is a concern here too...

- Filled in the application form and got a reply from admin, made the course payment of 240 SGD for 12 lesson (20 SGD per lesson) and gotten the confirmation SMS.

- Later on in the night, received a WhatsApp message to indicate the location, what to bring and prepare, a short FAQ along with a screenshot of the location: Delta swimming complex and details/qualifications of the instructor

Delta Swimming Complex

 “CV” and info on the instructor, Jerry Koh.

The Learning Journey
Here we go on the learning journey…

Week one

- Arranged to be on an early shift and left at 5:35 (shift end at 5:30). 
- Went home by bus, showered, and do last min packing.
- Prep beforehand hastily only to realize that the goggles' visor bridge snapped in the men's changing room on me, and I forgot to bring 2 * 20 cents to store my stuff.
- Got pissed at myself and was preparing to leave as am ill prepared for the lesson.
- Went onsite and from afar saw the group gathered and lesson started already.
- Went to Great World City and proceed to scout around for a goggles replacement.
- Got a goggles with degree -800, a swimming cap and berated myself to properly prep for the second lesson.
- Went home and prep a bag with the swimming trunks, goggles, swimming cap and placed the bag in my "exercise corner" where I usually stored my jogging/walking bag as well.
- Hence ended first session for my swimming class - lolx

Week two

- Start to log and prep on article requested here.
- Prep well ahead as had already taken compliance leave. Did a stock check before I left for the lesson.
- Went ahead of time and reached 15 mins ahead of appointed time of 7:55 pm, saw a group of 2 ladies along with the instructor going through on what seemed to be a recap on the pointers on the last lesson.
- Felt apprehensive and sat around to observe from afar and waited till the appointed time to go over and self-introdoced myself.
- There were like nine ladies and I was the only guy (wow and lol for me).
- They were like, from what I observed, Indonesians and Malaysian Chinese. One of them seemed to be afraid of water and taking this as a chance to self-overcome the phobia of water. There was a pair who knew each other. Perhaps they signed up together for this learning journey.
- The instructor, Jerry, was nice and did a "recap" for more like a 10 min crash course for me who was absent for the first lesson, ie. how to breathe underwater or rather how to exhale under water, mouth breathes in/inhales and nose breathes out/exhales.
- How to float. He did not teach the float technique on how to float facing up. It was on how to float facing down instead – this was to form the basis of swimming properly in a straight line and to swim effectively here.
- Trained on posture on how to keep the body straight in water.
Two types of floating was taught:
1. Head facing down, body straight, arms straight up on surface of water.
2. Head facing down, curling up to a ball-like shape, moving knees up to chest to prep and moving in position for float type #1.
- How to kick water and propel forward facing downwards. Hands straight on surface of water. The trick was to have only the heeds popping out of water and need not have too drastic of the movement to archive the same results - push body forward in water.
- Had fun on kicking water and was a good exercise for the legs here. I was thinking in my mind, the exercise would do me good and I got to pick up a new skill as well. Great!
Reasons for the float types:
1. Was for the basics of the body to move in position for swimming. 
2. Preparation to get to the float type position #1 to prep the body ready for swimming.
- Was informed at the end of the session - 1 hour, (in my mind, "well for 20 bucks per lesson, can't expect much or too long of a session... right :)), Jerry was going off on a vacation in Cambodia and week three lesson would be postponed. End date for the lesson extended to make up for the lapsed week. We now had 2 week to week four (06/09/17) to practice and train on our own.
- Recollections here: while picking up swimming, I wished to see if I got the chance to know the other participants, too.

Week three

- Self practice week for me. Had planned to go over to Safra Mount Faber and check out the pool there. However, it was a bad weather. Fell sick on the week so that ended week three.

Week four

Beginning of the week, received a WhatsApp message that Jerry broke his leg and would be unable to complete the teaching for the remainder of the remaining lessons. A new instructor, Steve was assigned to carry on the teaching.

1st lesson with Steve, the lesson and swimming techniques was reset back to day 1 (OMG... zzz..). Relearnt and reintroduced of the group to all...
- Learnt how to breathe in water, (nose breathes out and mouth takes in air)
- How to kick water (legs straight and toes pointing inwards), and how to swim straight forward.

“CV” and info on the instructor, Steve Wong.

Week five

- Relearnt and got more briefing on what was learnt last week.
- Learnt how to paddle forward and was briefed that coordination is important. Also picked up skipping as a mean to practice on the coordination between both arms and body movement
- Technique: using body movement, swivel and sideward to achieve the "twisting" effect using only the arms and shoulders.
Self-Note: 4 girls "disappeared" and stopped attending class. (During intro and reintro, they were in a group who signed up together to learn swimming. Perhaps they felt that progress was too slow? Or reset progress was not to their liking? Or instructor? Me?) Hmmm…

Week six

- Practiced on arm movement and intro on how to twist the body sideward, ie. tilting the body to allow intake of air (NOT lifting head up to take in air) and practiced to minimize the body coordination to reduce sinking effect (when twisting head up or stopping/freezing mid-way in water), lolxxx...

Week seven

I was on MC so never attended, text in to inform I was sick. Cough, sucks...

Week eight

Coach Steve was on MC so lesson was cancelled...

Week Nine

Attended the lesson and was informed that they were practicing the same for whole of last week, not much was missed... (perhaps he said that to calm my nerve though it was I whom had missed the lesson prior to his MC, lol).
Things was more comfy and interaction was good with the students and Steve.
- Start learning breast stroke
Technique: using elbows as a point of movement, to move hand and lower arm to propel forward and push head up. - Noted that I should not lift the neck upwards forcefully but using the momentum of the breast stroke to push self-up to take in air.

Week Ten

Deepavali / Diwali - PH so no lesson...
Self practice and recap...

Week Eleven

It was more like repeating the skillset learned and practice, practice, practice…
- Ladies started to "close in" in space-wise on me in pool. Hmmm...

Week Twelve

Gave it a miss here and decided that it was a repeat of practice, and also feeling a bit that the learning journey had officially come to the end here for this set of classes. The nagging feel for the last lesson was sadly affecting me and so …

  1. Overall I would say I picked up roughly a good 70% of what Steve and Jerry (speedy recovery on the broken leg!).
  2. Swimming competency is like 40%. I was barely able to do forward crawl swimming style and breast stroke, water treading was barely there. 
  3. Didn’t get to know the ladies as much as I should have here. 
  4. Last but not least, the follow-up point here... more practice on my own and in turn to follow-up to learn and further refine/strengthen my swimming skills here. One of the points for New Year Resolution 2018: to self-reflect in 1st and 2nd Quarter and review via peers (friends swimming with me on and off) and see if I need a refresher course or ready to pick up more styles in swimming? A more advanced course here. Upon the end of this write up… it is up to a new year and see what life brings here. That, my dear readers, is a tale for another time. 

Signing off here,
James Wu

URL of website in prelude :

Coach profiles and Delta swimming complex map from Happy Fish co. (

No comments:

Post a Comment