Years ago I lived with three professional golfers. They all played, they all taught, they all knew best.
We used to have bags of clubs in the kitchen, by the back door, and when we popped out for a smoke (I know, I hate myself for ever having done it) we would usually pick a club to swing while in the garden.
So you’d think, with three professional golf tutors on hand every time I swung a golf bat, I would be pretty handy at golf? You think wrong.
Housemate 1: “Tilt here, drop this, keep that straight, slow that down and turn there as you finish your swing”
Housemate 2: “Tilt there, lift that, bend those, quick through there and finish with the club under your armpit”
Housemate 3: “Swing it twice round your head, scream “Bananarama”, take a run up and kick the ball as far as you can, finish by throwing the club in the lake”
Every time I swung a club I was being told something different. All good advice, it all works for someone, but there were three alternative ways of achieving the same goal and it was impossible to learn all three at once. That is why I still hack my way around a golf course comfortably in triple figures and taking a good look at the shrubbery, trees, lakes, in fact every part of the course but the fairway and greens.
I cannot hack my way around the lake on July 14th.
I’ve received some brilliant advice from several sources since starting swimming 9 days ago. I’ve come further than I thought possible in that short time and I could never have done it alone. But now is the time to choose how I swing and stick with it. I’ve been given some drills to try, tools to improve technique and lessons on body position, breathing and other essentials, but I think it’s time to go solo.
One of the things I’ve noticed whilst sat on the edge of the pool trying to get the chlorine out of my lungs is that every single swimmer has a different stroke. You may be able to group them by how often they breath (4 strokes looks most popular, I have no idea how they survive) or they method they employ (front crawl for chaps, breast stroke for the ladies) but when it comes to how they power themselves through the water every single person is slightly different.
So, it’s time for me to find my style. It may not be the most efficient or the prettiest but I need to choose my stroke, my pace, my breathing and just stick to it from now on. I’ve got three weeks to make it second nature and feel comfortable in the mass ranked when I run in to that lake and there simply isn’t time to still be making changes now.
I just hope I choose right…