Every so often I get asked by a runner or triathlete for a bit of stroke advice or help, which I’m always happy to do, (as, in my experience, is pretty much the case with every experienced swimmer in a public pool).
Here’s how it usually goes:
“Hey, you seem like a decent swimmer. I have a triathlon coming in two weeks, can you give me some tips on getting better at the swimming leg?”
I suppress my inner sigh at the allowed timeframe, analyse their stroke, give them the most essential advice (almost always; exhale underwater, and stop kicking like you’re trying for a drop-goal, give them a couple of appropriate drills* and tell them to just focus on technique for the next two weeks).
Two, three, six months, or a year later, having giving up the suggested drills after the first two days, because “well, they were slow and boring and making no difference“, they’ve made zero progress.
I finally realised the problem: I’m not T’Internet.
They are used to, indeed want, T’Internet to tell them what to do. What equipment to buy, what kind of swimmer they are and what kind they aren’t and what kind they should be. I’m just a ridiculously handsome, tall and svelte middle-aged guy in a pair of Speedoes. (As you know, I’m kind of like the Mark Foster of open water swimming). And I’m right there. I mean if I was any good, I wouldn’t be in their pool, right? I’d be on T’Internet.
And further, I realised, the world does not have enough T’Internet Godlike Swimming Gurus. So for all those people who want more Internet swimming and another guru, me ‘n the team here at LoneSwimmer™©® Towers™©®, having spent huge sums and committed vast resources to the development cycle, are finally unveiling the spectacularly effective LoneSwimmer™©® Internet Swimming Plan™©® (aka LISP ™©®)
The main features of LISP™©® are
1: More Swimming Acronyms (MSA), abbreviations and buzzwords.
2: A decidedly effective and concise 27** point Personally Integrated Stroke System (PISS™©®) for easily and quickly making your frontcrawl more goodlier.
3: A Cult of Personality based entirely on me and comprising a growing network Collection of LoneSwimmers™©® Across the World (CLAW™©®).
4: New drills that are not-at-all like existing drills, tailored specifically for you with cool
new names. In a breakthrough new feature not previously seen on T’Internet, every single CLAW™©® member will be given individual drill names for each drill, ensuring personalised personalisation.
5. A simple and easy rolling monthly payment plan through PayPal for your convenience, and for which you gain access to the labyrinthine LoneSwimmer.com archives, covering diverse subjects from open water techniques through social aspects of swimming to fashion and beauty tips, the value for money is extraordinary. The cumulative amount you spend will be far in excess of a visit to some local coach for basic stroke analysis who can actually see you swimming, or buying that decent swimmer a beer in exchange for their advice, but you know you are getting the best Internet advice. Let the losers get their advice locally.
6: For a modest extra fee of $14.99 per query, the team will answer all your incredibly difficult and never-encountered-before-not-ever open water swimming queries, including but not limited to:
“Why can’t I swim straight?”
“What kind of goggles should I use?”
“My legs! What the hell do I do with my legs?”
“Are there bitey things in the water?”
“Does my arse look big in this?”
I’m sure you are all excited as excited about this as I am. Years of giving out advice for nothing reciprocal is for fools.
Let it end, I say.
In Part Two we’ll look at my copyrighted and trademarked Twenty Seven Easy Steps To Becoming a Goodlier Internet Swimmer (TSESTBAGIS™©®)**.
And I’ll be rolling the awesome TSESTBAGIS™©® Franchise Coaching Opportunity (™©®) where you too can partake in CLAW™©® as a higher level for a very reasonable cost. And for every future member you sign to TSESTBAGISCLAWFCO™©® you will benefit in a financial reward that is not in any way like a pyramid scheme, and I have the lawyers and a Certification of Financial Compliance from Myanmar University of Financial Rectitude and People’s Agricultural Learning to assert such.
*Swim With One Leg in the Air Drill (SWOLeD™©®). I do it every day***. I proudly assert that I am the world’s best one leg in the air swimmer.
** Or 19. Or something. Actual number of steps subject to revision.