Kelly Adams, (Actress)
I think people learn most of their skills and sports as children and tend to leave out new scary stuff in adulthood. At 34, I entered my first triathlon without knowing how to do front crawl. Slight error. A friend leant me their Total Immersion DVD which I followed to the letter until I could lap the pool with confidence.
TI swim coach Tracey Baumann picked up where the DVD left off and took me to the next stage, improving my stoke in the endless pool and developing my mental approach to swimming which for me, is half the battle won.
Tracey’s calmness and total confidence in me gave me the freedom to explore open water swimming which up to now has been a massive fear for me. Deep/ murky water swimming has always been out of the question and at 34, it looked like it always would be but yesterday I found myself swimming the length of a weedy kilometer lake with confidence and ease.
With one triathlon now under my belt, I’m looking forward to fine tuning my technique even more and enjoying the rest of the season. So many people ‘get through’ the swim so they can then concentrate on the bike and run but thanks to TI, I feel like swimming is mine for life now and it may turn out to be my strength.
Thank you for the story so far.
I was an almost complete non swimmer. One of those that could do a bit of
breast stroke if need be but putting my face in the water was a complete no
go! Watching other’s enjoy being in water with ease and swimming in open
water made me feel I was missing out on a lot of enjoyment. Kim had my fear
of having my face in water and relaxing with the water sorted in one lesson.
I’ve not looked back since. I’m in water at every opportunity. Kim most
certainly has the knack of making a person feel at ease. Her enthusiasm for
teaching, and the technique, is infectious and inspiring. I’ve enjoyed my
first summer of truly enjoying being by the sea, and in the sea. Learning
to relax in water has been life changing for me and I still look forward to
taking the learning further.
Chris. M. – Triathlete
I signed up for Ironman 70.3, run good, bike good, swim, I couldn’t. I could basically swim 25 meters of front crawl with my head completely out of the water and was totally exhausted.
Over the space of a couple of months I managed to get my head in the water and with a hardcore triathlon magazine ironman training plan and a huge amount of effort I managed to swim 1k in the pool, I’d get out physically exhausted and feeling dizzy.
I needed to swim double that, I found SwimSolutionS.
I turned up there on the first day with no real clue about TI, I hadn’t even heard of it actually I just wanted a swim teacher that was close to my office. After Tracey had stopped laughing she talked me through TI and told me that basically all my ridiculously hard morning swims would be replaced with 90% technique drills and that I needed to trust her. I liked the sound of that so I did trust her.
15 lessons later I swam the 1900m in the sea for Ironman 70.3 in 36 minutes with quite possibly the least effort I’ve ever put into any sporting endeavour. I was so relaxed and comfortable in the water that I actually didn’t want to get out.
Tracey is a fantastic teacher, with the keenest eye for detail I have ever seen in an instructor, she truly is exceptional. In the space of months I’ve gone from being someone who considered himself a non-swimmer, to weekly open water swims of over a mile that I love. Open water swimming is now one of my favourite activities and it’s all thanks to Tracey.
Sean H. – Triathlete
Hi Tracey, Thanks for all the effort you’ve put into changing my swimming style over the past 4 months. I’ve progressed from a thrashing, splashing, exhausted-at-T1 Tri-athlete, into a sleek, purpose-driven, energy conserving, splash-free Iron-man this season….well almost…. Seriously, as you know I’ve had years of bad habits which you have highlighted to me, explained the reason why change was needed, given me the drills to change the ‘hard-wiring’ and monitored the change. I’ve enjoyed the way you’ve explained every TI technique, the reason for it and how it will benefit me. Once you’ve explained the logic behind the drill I find it easier to relinquish the bad old habits for the new. I’ve clearly seen the difference, not in my swim-times yet (it has only been a few weeks), but in the amount of energy I have after completing the swim events. The crowning moment was running out of the 3,5km Forestman lake swim feeling as if I could easily do it again! I experienced the same feeling of energy after the Windsor Olympic distance swim 3 weeks ago so it was no flash in the pan. This swim technique has helped me glide through the water instead of fighting my way through it. I’ll recommend your course to anyone who wants to improve their swimming technique without a doubt! All of the best and we’ll see you in a few weeks time for a refresher. Regards Sean H
Kate T. – Triathlete
Anyone having Total Immersion Swimming lessons should take a couple of minutes out of their day to read this hilarious account by one of TI Coach Kim’s students: Kate
Swimming with the undead – my experience of TI lessons
I have a confession. Despite being old enough to insure my home with Saga, I occasionally play games on my phone. These mainly involve plants and zombies and slightly random acts of violence,
generally perpetrated by the undead. What does this have to do with TI swimming? Quite a lot, let me tell you.
In my first TI lesson I practised gliding across the pool like superman. The only problem was that I was superman with hands as stiff as a board. “Relax”, they said, “Practise in front of a mirror,” they said. Arms outstretched, I marched round the house in zombie attack pose for days. The cats grew anxious and sloped away as I approached them with my hands flapping at the ends of my wrists. “I AM relaxed,” I growled to myself.
In lesson 2, we introduced the chicken pose; high, wide elbows and hands as stiff as a board (my version). As a keen swimmer, I am usually about to go swimming, just back from swimming or generally thinking about swimming. I found my mind wandering back to “chicken” pose at odd times during the day. In the supermarket checkout queue I would start to lift my elbows and inspect my hands to see if they were floppy. I switched to shopping online.
Then there were the bunnies. Cute little creatures they were not. They sat evilly on the side of the pool laughing at my over-rotation. I worked out that if I got my elbows really, really wide I could just
catch them on their little pink noses and knock them off. There was a satisfying thud as they hit the floor.
However, the bunnies were persistent little creatures. They re-appeared a couple of lessons later, hanging onto my wrists so I had to flick them off just before my hand entered the water.
Mercilessly, I dropped my hand straight down and watched each bunny slowly turning blue as I held it there, waiting … and waiting some more for the other arm to recover and enter the water. The
bunnies retreated, coughing and spluttering to consider their strategy.
In lesson 5 they were back with a vengeance. They had donned little bunny wetsuits and drilled a hole in the front of the propulsion unit, from whence they were attempting to sneak out and hijack
my stroke. I really don’t know how I upset them in the first place. In the face of such persistent hostility, I had to resort to the laser beam which had been mysteriously implanted somewhere under
my swim hat when I first booked TI lessons. Focussing all of my energy forward, and keeping my head still for maximum effect, I zapped the bunnies one by one. They sizzled a bit and then melted away into the blackness.
For now, the bunnies and I have declared an uneasy truce. If I catch a glimpse of fur at the side of the pool, I lift my elbow threateningly and the bunny disappears. Occasionally I imagine beady little eyes watching me from the depths of the propulsion unit and I send an extra blast of laser-beam energy forward, just to be sure. Nowadays it seems that the bunnies are seen less often and more easily disposed of.
However, when my TI coach asks me “What were you thinking about?” during a swim drill, I never
quite know how to answer…