Our pool is right outside my condo. I don’t actually go swimming very often, but I find the pool very beautiful. Not only the pool itself, some of the swimmers are very attractive too.
Lots of Koreans live in my building, students and business people. Most of the Korean swimmers are very technically correct, they’ve obviously taken lessons. An “Australian Crawl” is a very accurate Australian Crawl. Korea is a prosperous country, hence the lessons, and Koreans like to be “correct” in everything that they do.
Many of the Thai swimmers have obviously taken lessons, but most seem like they just watched people swim and have tried to duplicate what they have seen. This has led to basic misunderstandings of the goals of swimming. As a result, many of them swim as though they were engaged in a Thai boxing match versus the pool, kicking and striking the water with as much force as they can muster.
For the leg kick, the foreleg must exit the water and be brought down with as much ferocious resolve as possible. Bring your arm over your head and the goal seems to be to hit the water as though you were trying to knock a drunken molester unconscious. I’m sure that this is all very satisfying on some level, but it does not translate into a lot of forward motion in the water.
Some swimmers have very individualized styles. I saw a fellow last week, swimming across the pool he looked like he was trying to claw his way up a hillside, but with the additional fear of drowning.
I shouldn’t talk, my own swimming history is nothing to brag about. I never had lessons as a boy. Like most of my generation, I just made my way into the water when the opportunity presented itself. The year that I finished college I finally learned the rules, I was thirty-five years old, it’s a long story, I needed one credit to round out my requirement, and I got the bright idea to take “Intermediate Swimming.” I’d been swimming all my life, more or less, so I was too proud to take the beginners course, like any sensible person would do. This is starting to sound familiar, I think I wrote about this class last year. Suffice it to say, my own swimming, while it is enough to keep me out of danger of drowning, offers me no license to criticize the technique of others.
But laughing at the efforts of others is entertaining, I’m not above enjoying it, and my opportunities to feel superior to others have never been legion, and it’s not getting any better as I get older.