In through the mouth, out through the nose. Usually, this would be said the other way around during a yoga session, but out of my five years of swimming, this was the phrase that was repeated the most. I was constantly told this because it would help me breathe properly once I put my head out of the water for air. Over the years, swimming has brought me a sense of calm and relaxation. It distracts me from the stress of school, friendships or other events. Even though swimming can be relaxing, it can also be very scary and stressful if you don’t know how to swim. I will share the rules and methods that I was taught to make swimming a more calm experience when I was learning.
This is where In through the mouth, out through the nose comes in. When you put your head under the water while swimming, the worst thing to do is try and hold your breath. It would be easy to pass out under the water if you unconsciously held your breath for longer than your body can handle without oxygen. A method that will keep you from passing if you hold your breath is to blow bubbles out from your nose. When you have run out of air from your nose, put your head out of the water, turn your head to the side and take a deep breath from your mouth. The reason why blowing bubbles from your nose helps is because it tricks your brain into thinking that you are breathing regularly so it won’t cause you to panic and hold your breath. To summarize, if you try to hold your breath underwater for too long, you will start to panic and pass out. Being able to breathe properly is one of the most important rules in swimming so passing out won’t be a worry for you.
Staying on the topic of panicking while swimming, sometimes you can panic even if you’re just treading water or floating. For me, during my swimming classes, the panic settled in when I was treading water and I started to get tired. The water would get near my face and I would panic about potentially drowning and not being able to breathe properly. This caused me to get tired even faster and I always had to stop treading water earlier than I wanted to and before everyone else had gotten tired. Later on during the lessons, my method to try not to panic was to often focus myself more on my breathing or other things that were around the pool. Basically, I tried to focus on everything but the swimming and to just think about something else so I could unconsciously swim without panicking.
In conclusion, one of the most important rules of swimming is to blow bubbles out from the nose and breathe in air from the mouth so you don’t pass out. The method that I personally use to stop myself from panicking while swimming is to try and focus on other items or thoughts so my mind can be focused on something else besides the thought of drowning.
Anonymous – DMSF Class of 2027