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View Full Version : A "unbiased" look at all 4 strokes by Laurie Kilmartin



FlyQueen
January 3rd, 2007, 09:24 AM
Laurie Kilmartin's look at all 4 strokes ... though with all the breaststroke vs. fly vs. free vs back (anyone but Donna?) talk I should post this one again ... it's great!!



An Unbiased Analysis of the Four Strokes
This piece is an objective look at the four strokes as seen through the eyes of a breaststroker. The reviews of the strokes themselves are presented in no particular order.



FREESTYLE

Oh yes, let us begin with the aquatic F-word, freestyle. Truly a dull and unimaginative stroke. Left arm, right arm, left kick, right kick. We detect a pattern here. What kind of person finds intellectual stimulation in this sort of repetition? Clomp, clomp, clomp. Freestyle is an elephant's stroke, all apologies to elephants. It is a stroke for people who stop at yellow lights and excel at algebra. Informal polling has led us to conclude that, to a person, freestylers prefer Windows to Macintosh, Kenny G to Miles Davis and day to night. Coaches wanting to see eyes literally bug out of sockets need only move a freestyler to the breaststroke lane. Yes, Virginia, there is more to life than catch-up drills and flutter kick.

Breaststroker's recommendation: Use this stroke for warmups only.



BACKSTROKE

We have many questions to ask of the world's backstrokers. First, what is the matter with you? That's right, you heard us. What is your problem? Do you not realize that you are upside down? Does light not shine in your sinister eyes? Are you reptiles with a second pair of eyelids, opaque in nature, that protect you from the sun's rays? Speaking of eyes, what about the ones in the backs of your heads, allowing you to spot the wall? Is it true that you can see through Speedos? And what of your start...crouched in front of the blocks as if praying to your "god." Who sent you to Earth? What have you done with Elvis? And why, when you grab at our private parts in practice, do you pretend that it is an accident?

Breaststroker's recommendation: Skip this one altogether; it is wholly unnatural.



BUTTERFLY

Good Lord. When will this most violent of strokes be committed to an insane asylum? With a recovery that emphasizes arms oustretched and hurling dangerously through the air, we wonder how many more breaststrokers have to be smacked across the face by an errant flier's paw before this experiment gone awry is canceled. Butterfly is a bad seed, borne out of breaststroke and mistakenly given its own place in the medley relay. The loud uncle of swimming, butterfly boorishly hogs the remote control, making all the other strokes watch football on Thanksgiving Day. We cannot help but think that witnessing butterfly is like babysitting a spoiled child who constantly screams, "look at me!"

Enough, butterfliers, enough. It's time to grow up. You are making a scene. You are hereby grounded to your room, where you shall consume copious amounts of Ritalin and think about the turbulent waves your savage dolphin kicking has caused decent, hardworking breaststrokers.

Breaststroker's recommendation: Swim only if you want to scare little kids out of your lane.



BREASTSTROKE

Breaststroke is all that is noble and good in this cruel world. Many deities, including God, Allah, and John F Kennedy Jr, enjoy the solitude of this most subtle of strokes. Unlike its neanderthal brethren, breaststroke has refined tastes. It reads the New Yorker and paints abtracts with oil. It hates both Demi Moore movies and the first half and last fourth of the IM. Breaststroke, we suspect, enjoys a martini now and again. (Contrast this with the alcoholic butterfly, which pounds Budweisers from cans, shoplifted from a 7-11). It soothes the inner beast and acts as a gentle tonic on a troubled heart. In fact, whenever we use our upgrade coupons to fly first class, just thinking about breaststroke drowns out the moaning of the rabble back in coach.

Breaststroke, you see, is in harmony with the universe; its pull and kick chase one another in playful symmetry. And if that weren't enough, breaststroke also boasts the crown jewel of competitive swimming, the pulldown. Comprised of a long sinewy pull followed by a spry frog kick, the pulldown is a holy moment of shrouded watery silence. Breaststrokers go to chapel during the pulldown, (often giving thanks that they are not backstrokers), and break to the surface only when their brave lungs are nearly burst. We have yet to see the fishkick or streamline that invokes such spiritual repose. Breaststroke is Yin and Yang, Rum and Coke, and the Captain and Tennille. Man does not go to breaststroke, man waits for breaststroke to come to him. Amen, brothers and sisters.

Breaststroker's recommendation: Join us.

The Fortress
January 3rd, 2007, 09:31 AM
FREESTYLE

Oh yes, let us begin with the aquatic F-word, freestyle. Truly a dull and unimaginative stroke. Left arm, right arm, left kick, right kick. We detect a pattern here. What kind of person finds intellectual stimulation in this sort of repetition?

:rofl: As a distance free hater, this was my personal favorite!

FlyQueen
January 3rd, 2007, 09:36 AM
I have several favorites, including Yes, Virginia, there is more to life than catch-up drills and flutter kick.


and


Contrast this with the alcoholic butterfly, which pounds Budweisers from cans, shoplifted from a 7-11

~Wren~
January 3rd, 2007, 09:50 AM
Speaking of eyes, what about the ones in the backs of your heads, allowing you to spot the wall?

Nope, not eyes. Actually after awhile you develop a bump on the back of your head (from crashing it in to the gutter) that acts as a sensor.

BUTTERFLY - I have to say, this is dead on for the flyers on my HS team. They were a bit scary (I only swam it for IMs, so they didn't consider me a real flyer).


BREASTSTROKE
Breaststroke is Yin and Yang, Rum and Coke, and the Captain and Tennille.

That to me, seems like a reason to not swim breaststroke.

Allen Stark
January 3rd, 2007, 10:01 AM
I have read it before ,but it is divinely inspired,although I think it is a little hard on fly.

CreamPuff
January 3rd, 2007, 10:01 AM
Awesome! I loved this! Thanks for posting.

Right on with the fly. Swum well or poorly, it scares many out of your lane period.

SwimStud
January 3rd, 2007, 10:12 AM
Breaststroke...hates...Demi Moore movies...

OK I think I may have a caveat here. I mean GI Jane was AWESOME. The push-up on the chairs scene (if any female swimmers here can do those I'll pay to witness this--send PM LOL).
OK letching over with.
That post was hilarious...but as they say. It's only funny because we all know it's true.
:rofl:

Thinking of new forum name Froggy or something.

islandsox
January 3rd, 2007, 11:12 AM
FREESTYLE

What kind of person finds intellectual stimulation in this sort of repetition? Clomp, clomp, clomp.

BACKSTROKE

We have many questions to ask of the world's backstrokers. First, what is the matter with you? That's right, you heard us. What is your problem? Do you not realize that you are upside down?
Breaststroker's recommendation: Skip this one altogether; it is wholly unnatural.


Well, :rofl::rofl::rofl:. I find no intellectual stimulation whatsoever in swimming distance free because I do not incorporate anything mindful whatsoever. My IQ during my distance free equals that of about my stroke rate which is low, so therefore, there can never be anything intellectual happening. This would probably be a good time for sometime to do brain surgery on me because nothing is happening upstairs whatsoever.

And I thought everyone knew that us former backstrokers, and those who still venture with this stroke, find pleasure, intrigue, and challenge of swimming belly up and backwards. At least this stroke is by far and away the most challenging since we can't see where we are going.

Donna

~Wren~
January 3rd, 2007, 12:04 PM
Well, :rofl::rofl::rofl:. I find no intellectual stimulation whatsoever in swimming distance free because I do not incorporate anything mindful whatsoever. My IQ during my distance free equals that of about my stroke rate which is low, so therefore, there can never be anything intellectual happening. This would probably be a good time for sometime to do brain surgery on me because nothing is happening upstairs whatsoever.

And I thought everyone knew that us former backstrokers, and those who still venture with this stroke, find pleasure, intrigue, and challenge of swimming belly up and backwards. At least this stroke is by far and away the most challenging since we can't see where we are going.

Donna

Personally, I find backstroke scenery less boring too - at least you can see something other than the stripe on the bottom of the pool. Our community center hangs seasonal banners from the ceiling - no backstroke flags, but you'll always know what season it is. :shakeshead: Also, what's the point of putting cool patterns on the front of suits if you're always face down? Unless you've got a wayward scuba guy hanging out in your pool, no one gets to see it once you start swimming. :dunno:

poolraat
January 3rd, 2007, 12:12 PM
One has to wonder, though, if backstrokers are very smart.
Think about it; We're swimming on our back, real fast,
towards a concrete wall.:rofl: :rofl:

scyfreestyler
January 3rd, 2007, 12:23 PM
LOL!

I posted that here a year or two ago but it's good to throw out again once in a while. Good find. As I recall she has some pool reviews from the places she has gone in her travels. Of course, the pool reviews closely resemble the literary style of her stroke commentary.

Caped Crusader
January 3rd, 2007, 12:24 PM
One has to wonder, though, if backstrokers are very smart.
Think about it; We're swimming on our back, real fast,
towards a concrete wall.:rofl: :rofl:

Exactly. So if you were really smart and could do algebra, you'd be a freestyler.

SwimStud
January 3rd, 2007, 12:28 PM
Exactly. So if you were really smart and could do algebra, you'd be a freestyler.

But where do you put your pocket protector when you swim?

~Wren~
January 3rd, 2007, 12:34 PM
One has to wonder, though, if backstrokers are very smart.
Think about it; We're swimming on our back, real fast,
towards a concrete wall.:rofl: :rofl:

Yeah, but more often than not, there's someone loitering at the end of the lane to run in to instead. . . :laugh2:


Exactly. So if you were really smart and could do algebra, you'd be a freestyler.

I was smart - could do algebra even - but after yards and yards of incredibly boring FS, I got stupid and no longer have any clue what x or y equal. FS is the reason I invested in a waterproof mp3. :D

some_girl
January 3rd, 2007, 12:42 PM
As a flyer, all I can say is LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOOOOK! Now let's finish our beers and beat up the breaststrokers!

chaos
January 3rd, 2007, 02:51 PM
[QUOTE=FlyQueen;72885]


BUTTERFLY

Swim only if you want to scare little kids out of your lane.
QUOTE]

isn't that reason enough?

Backman
January 3rd, 2007, 03:05 PM
I sense a bit of backstroke envy here.

Leonard Jansen
January 3rd, 2007, 03:23 PM
HA!
Breaststroke is the stroke of little old ladies that don't want to get their hair wet and people who are sociopathic cheaters. The rules for breaststroke are as long and coherent as the translated instructions for assembling a cheap toy made in China. ("Do not violate happy integrity of toy with making driver of screws wrong motion. Much bad smiling child.") There are pictures of Chairman Mao doing the breaststroke as well.

Butterfly is the stroke for middle children. Those children lost in the shuffle of family life and desperately seeking attention and approval. Best to give it to them or they will probably become mimes or take up performing as clowns at kids birthday parties. Most serial killers are failed flyers.

Backstroke - The call-girl of swimming strokes: The only time in sport you can get rewarded for being on your back.

Freestyle/crawl - Speed. Grace. Fluidity. Virility. Nirvana.

-LBJ

FlyQueen
January 3rd, 2007, 03:27 PM
Actually I agree with the flyer assessment AND I think it's the stroke of youngest children, all my flyer friends are the babies of the family. I think the breaststrokers would be the middle child ...

Phelps, Crocker, and Sandeno are all the youngest (I think) in their families ...

chaos
January 3rd, 2007, 03:31 PM
Most serial killers are failed flyers.
LBJ
i wonder if i could do a round trip to elizabethtown and be back before dawn...noone would know a thing:laugh2:

middle child: guilty as charged

The Fortress
January 3rd, 2007, 03:36 PM
Backstroke - The call-girl of swimming strokes: The only time in sport you can get rewarded for being on your back.

LBJ:

You left out us schizophrenics. I'm generally a fly/back type person. But it looks like you reserved the worst insult for backstrokers, so I guess I'll be a failed serial killer.... :rofl:

Baby sister: I'm the eldest in the family.

funkyfish
January 3rd, 2007, 03:38 PM
HA!
The rules for breaststroke are as long and coherent as the translated instructions for assembling a cheap toy made in China. ("Do not violate happy integrity of toy with making driver of screws wrong motion. Much bad smiling child.") There are pictures of Chairman Mao doing the breaststroke as well.
-LBJ

That's funny, the Chinese toy assembly instructions seem to wind up being my mantra when swimming free. Eventually, I even start to recite them in Chinese.:D

islandsox
January 3rd, 2007, 03:42 PM
HA!

Backstroke - The call-girl of swimming strokes: The only time in sport you can get rewarded for being on your back.

-LBJ

:rofl::rofl::rofl: Why didn't I think of this years ago and not waste time and money getting an education? Guess I must have been doing too much free which turned my brain into mush, or I could have had taken what I learned all those years of backstroke and just continued on, just not solo.

Donna

poolraat
January 3rd, 2007, 04:37 PM
.... I think it's the stroke of youngest children, .... I think the breaststrokers would be the middle child ... ...

You might be on to something here...my youngest's best stroke is the fly, my middle child favors breaststroke.

The oldest doesn't swim. She's a runner (sprinter).

FlyQueen
January 3rd, 2007, 04:41 PM
The oldest doesn't swim. She's a runner (sprinter).


Well, every family has one ... :rofl:

The Fortress
January 3rd, 2007, 04:56 PM
Well, every family has one ... :rofl:

Has one what? Sprinter or runner? Mind has both, happily.

Your new breaststroke avatar really personifies LBJ's "little old ladies" comment. I don't know if I can compete with that one. My brain is too mushed up from excessive freestyle yesterday.

islandsox
January 3rd, 2007, 06:09 PM
Heather's avatar looks like bad butterfrog to me. Or, what I would look like doing it.

Donna

Allen Stark
January 3rd, 2007, 09:11 PM
Yes Leonard ,there is a reststroke favored by a certain demographic,but it has nothing to do with true breaststroke. You might just as well say noodling is a form of freestyle. Sociopathic cheaters seems a little harsh,especially from a freestyler,I mean how can you cheat in free. Breaststroke,by its beautiful complexity does have more opportunity for cheating,but no true breaststroker(not named Kitijama) would do so.

chaos
January 3rd, 2007, 09:37 PM
no true breaststroker(not named Kitijama) would do so.

i believe history may view kitijama as an innovator, bringing bs one step closer to bf. at least now all you breaststrokers can enjoy a brief moment of undulating bliss once per torturous length.

3strokes
March 5th, 2007, 03:24 PM
I grew up watching Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) movies.

I just can't see him, rushing to rescue Jane from the crocodile, doing
BR or BK or even FL.

Cheers