Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Breathing technique

Today I went to the pool with a slight fever sustained from last week's trip to Paris.

I really did not feel like swimming. All I wanted to do was go home, make hot Milo and curl up in bed.

But I went anyway and guess what, I came out of it feeling BETTER, not worse.

Sometimes you should listen to your body but other times it is best not to give in to its whining.

Interestingly, coach Lee was also down with fever today.

So it wasn't him who was teaching but his wife Bee.

I told her I was recovering from a fever and let's not push me too hard today.

She got me to do only freestyle swimming.

My stroke was all wrong. It was as though I had not been swimming for months!

One thing I had been struggling with when it comes to freestyle is my breathing. I always run out of breath! I don't understand. I go to the gym regularly.

No matter how much I try to relax, I never can.

Bee taught me the breathing technique that she uses. Essentially, you inhale, hold your breath and only start blowing when you're about to surface.

I tried that and found it to be less taxing than my usual breathing technique.

So I learnt something new today. But I'll need regular practice until it becomes second nature.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Table Topics scare me

The scariest part of a Toastmasters meeting to me is Table Topics.

Table Topics is a segment in every Toastmasters meeting whereby people volunteer to come up to the front and speak off-the-cuff for two minutes on a given topic.

It teaches you to think on your feet.

What's scary about it is not that your mind might draw a blank. That rarely happens. The scary thing about Table Topics is that it might just expose your innermost thoughts.

If you are racist, for example, or you have a problem with the boss or are obsessed with sex or, for women, you think all men are useless pigs, those things might come out during your Table Topic speech.

You may not say them out right, but people get the drift from you anyway.

Which is why, we should be mindful of what we think about most of the time.