~ 6 months since my last post and I can say truthfully, "I still swim." In fact, just yesterday, I started a renewed commitment to the SDK. See, I still can't flipturn so I do this little Irish Jig at the wall: I grab the wall, touch my feet on the bottom, pull them up to the wall and push off with a weak little triangle of arms approximating a streamline and I flutter kick like I'm trying to get something off my feet. H3ll, that's not effective.
Over the summer, Chopstick went to a Nike Swim Camp (off topic, it sucked) and like most swim camp-like things, they handed out some hastily xerox'd copies of articles from swim magazines in the late nineties. Well, one of them was extremely useful; it talked about the difference between good, better and great swimmers. To paraphrase, the good swimmer does what the coach tells them, the better swimmer works hard to do exactly what the coach is telling them as well as possible every time, while the great swimmer does the above but also has individual goals to improve on top of what the coach is telling them. The example is that in each practice, you do 100s of turns, the great swimmer is going to do the SDK exactly perfectly with a goal of getting to the flags a millionth of a second faster each time.
Chopstick and I both took this article to heart. For her, it's any number of tips/critiques/suggestions her coach has told her over the years...making sure she's continuing to work on them even after it's slipped his mind. For me, it's actually doing an SDK slash turn combo that won't get me DQ'd if I ever race. So, now I grab the wall, awkwardly pull my feet straight to the wall, trying to keep my knees high, and then push off the way I see Chopstick doing it. Then I streamline as tight as I can and dolphin kick. It is faster, it's closer to how I really want to do it. And it's a bit awkward so I've had to practice practicing it. But, it's better.
Also, ab muscles.