Sunday, 5 January 2014


Shoshin is the concept of "beginner's mind" in Zen Buddhism - staying open to new ideas. It's an important one for me at the moment, particularly since I'm at the beginning of many new skills right now.

I've swum all my life - I don't remember a time I wasn't happy in the water - but it's one of those skills you can always, always improve on. And I'm more than aware I have plenty to improve on; my times alone will tell you that. Over the last few years I've trained a lot with USWIM, had a session with SwimSmooth, put in many hours alone and read a few books as well. I'm getting towards the point where I can feel where my imbalances are - I think I under-rotate my hip-shoulder axis (which makes me laugh because I'm told I over-rotate in karate); I have a tendency to look over my shoulder rather than keep my head straight when I breathe; that sort of thing. But it's very hard to tell what you're doing in the water and to that end I booked a couple of sessions with Dave Quatermain to have video analysis and some personalised critique.

First session was tonight - and lo, the videos have just dropped into my inbox, how's that for efficient! It was a very gentle hour, just what I needed after the collywobbles over Christmas. So no great distance or heart-pounding, terrifying sprint drills, but just enough to enjoy the water and regain my confidence. Being weak and shaky for days on end was no fun at all.

Deeply unflattering views of myself, there, so no way am I posting them! but ouch, that left arm cross is dreadful. Thought I'd fixed that :( That's the big obvious one, anyway. I await the criticism with trepidation. And an open mind...