Monthly Archives: February 2013


I’ve been watching “Spy in the Huddle” with the kids, which is, if you haven’t seen it, a documentary series about penguins. The penguins look so awkward out of the water, and obviously they can’t fly, but in the water they move so effortlessly.Here is a link to a clip from a different BBC documentary.
I read somewhere that they can boost their speed by releasing tiny air bubbles from their feathers, which reduces the friction between their bodies and the water. I don’t know much about the anatomy of a penguin, but it seems to me that their efficiency of their movement has a lot to do with their shape and how streamlined they are. As swimmers it is just as important to think about reducing your resistance to the water, as it to think about how to increase your propulsive power.

Chinese: New Year,Ancient Philosophy

Chinese New Year, and thanks to Wikipedia, a timely opportunity to
look at Taoism and the concept of wei wu wei:

Taoism is a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes
living in harmony with the Tao. The term Tao means “way” or “path”.
Wu wei is an important concept in Taoism. Wu may be translated as without;
Wei may be translated as do, act or exert effort. The literal meaning of
wu wei is “without action”, “without effort”,or “without control”, and is
often included in the paradox wei wu wei: “action without action” or
“effortless doing”.
The practice of wu wei and the efficacy of wei wu wei are fundamental
tenets in Chinese thought. You cannot actively pursue wu wei. It is more a
mere observation of your behavior after you have accepted yourself for
who you are and release conscious control over your actions.There is
another less commonly referenced sense of wu wei; “action that does not
involve struggle or excessive effort”. In this instance, wu means “without”
and Wei means “effort”.
 The concept of “effortless action” is a part of Taoist martial arts such
as T’ai chi ch’uan, Baguazhang and Xing Yi.

So… “effortless action”, “action that does not involve struggle or
excessive effort”, “action without action”…definitely ideas that can be
applied to the way we are in the water.

Mermaids and Mermen.

     If you see someone who looks good in the water do you think: “What  is their secret? I can’t do that. I’m just not like that”? 

     People look good in the water because they feel good in the water.
     Rather than relying on language in the form of spoken words or thoughts, an image can help you to feel good in the water. Imagine yourself as a water-person. See yourself as a mermaid/merman as you go into and travel through the water.

     If you let yourself  feel good in the water, you will look good in the water.