I turned 30 this past week, and I think it’s caused me to do a little reflecting on the fact that I am not, as I once thought, immortal. So I’ve decided that I’ve been far too lazy lately, and I need to do something to get my fitness level back up. I’m into cycling, but here in Ohio, that’s not a easy thing to do consistently all year long. I’ll bike in the cold (10 °F is my lower limit) , but there are sometimes weeks at a time where the roads are covered in ice or slush, and so riding in the dead of winter is more of an occasional activity at best. I need another alternative for when I’m not on the bike because the weather is bad or because I’m bored. I thought about what those alternatives are, and decided swimming sounds like the best option. I can’t stand running at all, so that’s out. But swimming…that sounds like fun.
The problem is that I don’t really know how to swim. I don’t mean I can’t swim at all…I’m perfectly capable of making it a few lengths of the pool without drowning, though I’m going to look ugly doing it. More splashing than propelling. Swimming just isn’t something that I’ve spend much time trying to be good at. I’m not afraid of the water; in fact, I feel fairly comfortable in the pool. So my real problem is that I don’t know how to swim properly. I don’t know proper technique. I don’t know how to breathe efficiently and effectively. I don’t know how to turn. I don’t know what equipment I need besides a good pair of goggles (I wear contacts, and I don’t want to swim blind).
So what do Dopers recommend I do? I’m not interested in doing anything competitive. I’m not swimming for time…just fitness. Should I take some sort of lessons to improve my form? Or should I just jump in and start doing laps my way? Anyone have tips for what I should work on as I get started?