Friday, February 21, 2014

Drowning, Floating and Swimming

Little factoid about me. I was a lifeguard from age 15 to 22. Yep, I rocked the red bathing suit before Pamela Anderson (although it didn't seem near as sexy when I was in it!) It is funny how lessons learned during then show up 20+ years later.

Lifeguard Lessons for Life:
1. When struggling to gain control, take a breath and swim underneath your opponent to gain a more advantageous position. (Re-position and re-plan your attack.)
2. When pulling someone out that is bigger than you, push down on them first before pulling them up. (Leverage the buoyancy of a burden.)
3. When swimming a heavy object to the surface, save your breath on the way down and push off the bottom when coming back up. (Save your energy for the real fight. Those last few feet before you break the surface are the hardest.)
4. People that can float won't drown. This one sounds so obvious, but swim lessons rarely include floating. (If you can relax in a panic situation, sometimes floating for a bit will save you.)
5. Swimming through the trough of a wave is way easier than swimming over it. (Life will throw a series of waves and instinct tells us to swim over them. In the trough that wave is insurmountable. Swimming through it is easier, faster, saves your energy and gives you time to catch your breath before the next one. Swim through it.)

So there you have it. A few tips that have saved me while swimming through the last few months. Some days I'm struggling to break the surface. Some days the waves are crashing down on us. Some days I have to force myself to just float.

"You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there." ~ Edwin Louis Cole

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