How Michael Phelps Changed My Life

December 5, 2008

There are a few time gaps to fill since the epiphany about my physical heath earlier this year. First, back to 1997. I graduated from Western Kentucky University and immediately started my first adult job at a publishing company based in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. My good luck! There is a YMCA across the street! I walked over after work, ran a few miles, and lifted weights. Once I started living and working downtown, I would occasionally ride my mountain bike to work. It was around this time that I had the idea to compete in a triathlon. Just needed to learn to swim. Easy, right? Not at all. I enrolled in a swim class at the YMCA but no matter how hard I tried I just didn’t catch on. It was more like torture and I soon gave up.

Fast forward to my Michael Phelps Olympic experience circa 2008. This time I was truly determined to learn to swim. My wife and I joined Lifetime Fitness in Tempe, Arizona and that’s where it began. My “swimming” started with ten little laps all with the aid of a kickboard. I worked up from there.

After a month or two of swimming laps divided between kick-board and breast stroke I decided it was time to learn freestyle. I owe special thanks to The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss for introducing me to the Total Immersion (TI) swimming method usually associated with Terry Laughlin. It took me a few weeks after reading Tim’s post but I eventually went to the book store and bought both the book and freestyle dvd. Based on my experience I can strongly recommend this program. From a few laps on a kick-board, I am now swimming three plus miles per week freestyle with minimal rest between 400 and 800 meter sets.

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