August 27th, 2008

Breathing Easier

For years people have been telling me that those who suffer from asthma do better when they swim regularly. But I get panicky when I don't think I'm getting enough air and have thus spent most of my time in the pool and ocean alike treading water or doing the breast stroke. Because of my recurring leg problems, though, I have been spending a great deal of time in the pool recently. And I decided to see whether I could maintain my composure long enough to swim multiple laps without stopping again, something I loved to do as a child.

I had a lot of trouble at first. In sticking with the program, though, I have slowly begun to increase my respiratory capacity. Today I did twelve laps -- 25m -- in a row without stopping. That might not seem like a lot, but it's a huge achievement for me. Believe it or not, I am already noticing marked improvement in how I breathe out of the water, especially at night. On the other hand, I realized today that I just won't be able to do a proper flip turn. Something happens to my ears when I try and I get dizzy and stay that way for far too long. That's alright, though. I don't mind gliding to the wall and then pushing off with my legs. It might not be elegant, but it's good enough to keep me from taking breaks.