New dimension in my life as an athlete: personal coach!

My life consists of performing exercises. Throughout the day I am busy perfecting my posture, stability and strength. That’s fun and that’s what makes my sport challenging: not the swimmer with the most power wins, but the swimmer who has the most control over his body (and mind).

I have done almost every conceivable exercise in the meantime and with the enthusiastic trainer I have a lot of unthinkable exercises. Sometimes they unpacked well, sometimes they didn’t. That doesn’t matter, you learn from both.

It was very nice to hear from my friend Naima that she wanted to become a bit fitter. At first I was a bit surprised: by nature she is quite athletic and she doesn’t have to do much to stay in shape. Whether that was really necessary, I wondered.

Later on I thought it might be fun. I have been doing some exercises for years, while she had never heard of them, for example. Running, pure abdominal muscle exercises and Zumba she had done many times, but when I started using terms like strength training, trunk tension and deep squats she looked at me in shock: “I don’t want to be a bodybuilder!”

That she didn’t have to be afraid of that, I made it clear to her pretty quickly and then a new relationship started within our existing relationship: that of instructor and pupil.

I regularly give swimming clinics across the country and have to explain the usefulness of some basic swimming exercises. I have the same thing with Naima now and it’s quite refreshing. Because if you’re doing exercises day in and day out, it’s good to think about what you’re actually doing them for.

Naima is now on a schedule of cardio and strength training twice a week. I still have to get her to the deep squats, but that will come in due course.