Swimming can be a tough and lonely sport at times. In many cases you are racing yourself to be the best you can be by trying to get faster with each swim. Then there is the added pressure of trying to win races.
Swimming, however, does have a therapeutic side if we give it some thoughts. Apart from the health benefits of being active and healthy, you can practice some mindfulness when swimming. Two of my favourite things to do when trying to relax in the pool is to feel that sensation of pushing off the wall, streamlining through the water and breaking out into a stroke with ease well beyond the 5m flags. I also love to listen to the sound of a freestyle arm entry as the hand spears into the water upon entry and the rhythm of the splash with each measured stroke. For other swimmers it is the bublles when breathing or the sound of the leg splash when making a turn. Whatever it may be, these finer points of swimming can help us relax and enjoy what we do, taking us away from the hectic pace of everyday life. Find your element.
The following video from Natalie Coughlin, one of my favourite swimmers over the years that I have followed the sport, gives a nice reminder every once in a while to ask yourself, why do you swim?
Richard is currently Secondary School Principal of Suzhou Singapore International School, one of China's leading international schools. He leads workshops across the Asia-Pacific region for the International Baccalaureate in the areas of pedagogical leadership and approaches to teaching and learning. Richard consults with schools on the topics of school improvement and effective implementation and use of technology.
With a background in public and independent school education in the UK and Australia, Richard is enjoying his international school adventure in China. He is passionate about developing and supporting educational leaders, as it is essential to improving all schools.
Richard is a proud family man and feels lucky to be married to Kim and father of their son Austin.
In his spare time Richard enjoys to swim, bike and run and is a now retired football player and coach (with occasional guest appearances)