Here I address some concerns I had when I started. Maybe you’ve been googling stuff like I did and this will help.

Prior to First Swim

What if I can’t flip turn?

It doesn’t matter. Only super studs do that.

Sharing lanes

It’s not that bad. Don’t jump in right away. Hang out at one end until they see you, maybe even wait for them to meet at the end and say hello. Ask if they want to circle swim or not.

One old Russian lady basically told me to go share with another guy because she was a woman. No biggie, he was cool. He wanted to split the lane instead of circle swim since he was doing a different stroke.

I’m going to wear a Speedo!

Yeah, that’s the uniform. Don’t sweat it. Get jammers instead. In my experience, you’ll be coming to the pool from the locker room where every fat hairy dude feels inclided to go aggresively full nude - brushing teeth in a walkway, standing at a urinal spread eagle, just kind of standing there grabbing their ass in the main intersection staring into space.

(I don’t know WTF is wrong with these idiots. Just because you need to get undressed, doesn’t mean you need to flaunt it. I was in the Infantry and we shared all our personal space, but we never did shit like that.)

Any way, after walking out of that hairy, snorting, naked fart den, wearing slim shorts by the pool won’t seem too bad. Another thing to note is when people swim, they’re face down doing exercise. They’re not into you if they notice at all.

Don’t feel self-conscious about wearing proper swim attire. Your stroke, breathing, and flailing around are going to much more embarrassing. :D

After First Swim

I thought I knew how to swim.

I knew I wasn’t fantastic, but I could get by. I used to surf most days on my lunch break in decent-sized waves. WTF? I’m terrible at swimming.

Breathing is hard!

Exhaling underwater is uncomfortable face-down. For the first swim, just hang out at the edge and practice breathing. Once it feels OK, try it while holding the edge and kicking. I gave it a couple minutes, being very slow, but when I went out there, only half down the lane, I started panicking. The gasping breaths were shallow, I had a bunch of air in my lungs I couldn’t get out, I got a bunch of water in my nose, my legs started sinking - it was really awkward.

I sort of struggled through that first session, taking lots of time at each end before trying it again. The second time I went, I checked my pride a bit and grabbed one of those floaty tiny board things (kick board). That way I didn’t have to worry about sinking and I could spend time just working on learning how to breathe.

I tried several things I saw on videos, and it was much less crazy, but still hard. It’s probably a good idea to just take it slow and spend time getting used to this method of breathing.

My goggles hurt.

Yeah, mine too. I haven’t figured it out yet.


This is awesome. The pool stinks, there are weird people everywhere, it’s not salty, and it is definitely not cool, but it’s also awesome. There’s a lot to learn and a lot of technique. This is so much better than running on a treadmill trying to avoid the news on 5 TVs. If nothing else, it’s good to try it so you can appreciate it when you see others do it.