|The Art of Diving|
encaustic and paper on birch 5x5
So, we find ourselves standing on the edge looking into the water. Sometimes, the water looks inviting with its cool surface welcoming us. There are other times the water is a bit murky or deep and black. Sometimes it has a swift current, and sometimes the dive appears to be a loooong drop off a huge cliff. There are even times when fears petrify us and keep us standing on the edge contemplating. This results in our never actually getting into the water - ever.
So, what are we waiting for? - JUMP, DIVE, LEAP, CANNON BALL, BELLY FLOP, SWAN DIVE- whatever - just do it and get into the water and stop procrastinating.
Sure the water may be brisk and take our breath away, but good things do take our breath away. Once we are in the water, we may find it still and easy to paddle and glide and we are soooo happy we got in. However, sometimes - the calm waters get a little turbulent and swift currents crop up. This is when we start swimming hard and it can begin to be a struggle. The harder we swim, the harder it gets. Honestly, swimming against the current will get us nowhere fast. We tire and most likely get out of the water dripping wet, beaten down, and in a bad mood. This often results in us throwing up our arms, turning our backs and walking away. That's really a heartbreaking result when we're talking art here.
But here is the key... if we just let the water surround us and let it give us buoyancy, we can float. Once we float, we can turn away from the struggle and flow with the current. Once this happens, the struggle with the forces against us ends. It then becomes a peaceful journey floating on to lands unknown - an adventure in art, or life, or self. OK... so, what are you waiting for - Jump in and start going with the flow.
And.. if you ever find yourself in a rip current::
"If you find yourself being pulled out to sea, don’t panic. You are caught in a rip current that you can swim out of. To get out of the rip swim parallel to shore. That is, swim so that the shore is either to your right or your left. Never swim against the current."
Swimming Myths: True or False
- The harder you kick, the faster you'll go
- It's never too late to learn good technique
- You should always wait a half-hour after eating before hitting the pool
- The longer you stay underwater and glide, the better
- You sweat while you swim
- Only nerdy non-swimmers wear nose clips
- False. Kicking accounts for only about one-third of forward propulsion, and in the process, it uses your largest and most oxygen-thirsty muscles. Thus, super-hard leg work doesn't have much payoff and will probably tire you out quickly, slowing you down in the long run. This plays into the struggling against the current thing. If you go with the flow -there is no kicking and therefore no tiring.
- True. Learning skills while your body (ART) is developing, and putting in hours and hours of training over the years pays off. But there's no age limit on skill-building in swimming (or ART), and with proper instruction, it's possible to make great leaps in ability no matter how old you are. "A lot of newcomers to the sport catch on fire," (not literally, not to worry) says Scott Rabalais, chair of the U.S. Masters Swimming coaches committee and coach of Crawfish Aquatics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "It's really exciting to see."
- False. Sorry, unless you've eaten a big meal, you should not have a problem if you dive in before the half-hour mark. This means... no hesitation - just dive in.
- False. Although some elite swimmers stay underwater for as much as half a length, it's not always the wisest choice for us mere mortals. Certainly, the glide gives you the opportunity to capitalize on the power of your pushoff, but after a while you begin to decelerate. Stay underwater too long - especially if you're not streamlined - and you'll end up going slower than you would if you'd started stroking. What's more, having to hold your breath all that time might make swimming the rest of the lap a struggle. We are striving for no struggles, so get to the surface and start floating, paddling, and swimming in the direction the flow takes you.
- True. You may not feel them, but there are rivulets of perspiration rolling down your body as you stroke your way across the pool. The result: You're losing fluid as you practice. Drink up before, during, and after working out. Sweating is good. It means that you are working it. But don't lose focus on yourself. Keep yourself noursished, be kind to yourself and Drink responsibly. .
- False. Unless you're prepared to call 1992 Pan American Games gold medalist Jane Skillman a nerd. Skillman wears a nose clip to avoid allergic reactions to pool chemicals, and other elite-level swimmers wear them to avoid getting water up their noses when learning underwater dolphin kick on the back. Studio safety is really important. Don't cut corners, don't wait to get the proper this or that to make your place safe. This is you we're talking about.
-adapted from Alexandria Masters Swimming-Dive in, Swim and Go with the Flow. Happy Friday - hit the button, its Party Time!