The day I have been dreading arrived--Coach Jimmy said today we were going to work on flip turns. I've been swimming with the masters team a little more than a year without it ever coming up before; most of us are triathletes and don't need to know how to do flip turns. But apparently one of the triathletes asked for help, as he has been trying to learn on his own.
When I was a kid we had someone who came once a week during the summer and gave us swimming lessons off our dock (not quite visible in the photograph below).
I learned freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, sidestroke, and to dive. Until last year I hadn't had any further instruction in swimming, so I had never done a flip turn in my life. I did experiment once when I was swimming on my own and couldn't figure it out at all, so I decided I would wait for Jimmy to bring it up.
This morning I succeeded in flipping, which I wasn't sure I would be able to do. A lot of time my feet missed the wall, but I got somewhat better at that with practice. My arms were ending up in the wrong place entirely, but that was one more thing than I could keep track of. Reasonable progress for my first time. But I was half in tears the whole time. I was the only one who hadn't done flip turns before, and I felt so frustrated not to be able to do it. I wish I could learn to accept the learning process.