(Spoiler alert: there is a haiku in this post!)
It’s a breathing drill:
Breath control is an important part of swimming. So we often do drills. A swim coach might write something like this on the board as a short drill set: 5 x 75 yards breathe 5-7-5. Translated as: for every 75 yards (that’s three lengths of the pool), one length breathe every 5 strokes, the next length every 7 strokes, the next every 5. Then do it again. Five times.
It’s a haiku:
Haiku is similarly restrictive. It is an ancient, nuanced art-form from Japan, but in the most basic terms, it is a poem consisting of three lines. A poetry coach might write something like this: 1 x 3 Lines syllables 5-7-5. Translated as: one set of 3 lines, the first line containing 5 syllables, the next 7, and the last 5.
In March we swam far
I noticed my shoulders first
And an explanation:
It is the only haiku I have ever written. A text exchange last night with Laura resulted in the composing of this haiku, which is appropriate, as 5-7-5 could be a breathing drill as easily as it is a restriction on syllables. It’s almost like a swimming/poetry conspiracy theory!
Look at them shoulders!