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Total Immersion Philosophy

Total Immersion by Terry Laughlin (with John Delves) teaches swimming, via an approach which grandmaster comrade Cara Marie Manlandro says is quite sensible. The book is also well-written and inspirational. From the Introduction, a summary of "how TI will change your swimming":

- You'll learn to be Fishlike. Rather than churning out endless laps of pulling and kicking, you'll learn to swim with the effortless grace of fish. You'll feel the difference from your very first lap of intelligent, purposeful TI practice.

- You'll learn the qualities of beautiful swimming as well as the mechanics. While your initial goal is probably to swim faster, you'll quickly realize that it's far more important—and more satisfying—to swim with grace, flow, and economy. Speed will surely follow if you first master ease.

- You'll achieve transformation along with fluid strokes. TI, alone among all swimming-improvement programs, teaches swimming as a practice—in the same mindful spirit as yoga or tai chi. By swimming the TI way you'll sharpen the mind-body connection leading to heightened self-awareness and self-mastery, and greater physical and mental well-being.

- You'll master swimming as an art. TI emphasizes the same studied precision and refinement taught by martial-arts masters. You'll start with simple skills and movements, will progress by small, easily mastered steps, and will thrive on the attention to detail and the logical sequence of progressive skills.

Whew! What's not to like about self-mastery and self-awareness, not to mention beauty? As Chapter 1 ("Swimming Laps and Going Nowhere") concludes:

Grace, speed, technical proficiency, fitness, and peace of mind. Wait a minute—is this a swimming book or a whole human potential movement? You'll find the answer in the following pages, so let's get started. It's swimming we're going to be talking about, and you've no time to be skeptical. You've got more important things to do.

(cf. Swimming Fine (2008-04-24), ...) - ^z - 2011-09-24