Thursday, December 8th
Once upon a time, a long time ago, Ori called me to check out when is a good time for me to start taking
swimming lessons. We schedule for the upcoming Sunday, and since then, for 3 months, we met up
every Sunday at 10:00am to learn, work hard and make a progress with each lesson.
For 3 months my friends knew that I can’t go out late on Saturday night because I have to show up at
the pool on Sunday morning. My boss knew I don’t work Sunday morning for that same reason. I knew I
had to put the work in, so in 3 months I will be able to complete one lap.
We started our lesson and found out I was one of the difficult ones, I couldn’t even get my head in the
water. I gave up, but then Ori showed me how I can swim half a lap after only one lesson, keeping in
mind that at the beginning of the lesson I couldn’t even get my head in, or move more than 2 cm.
I realized I had a chance at swimming more than one lap in the future, or maybe even more than 2 laps if
I will stick to the workouts.
My second practice was more of a shocker. I went swimming at Poleg pool, and swallowed a lot of
water. Then, at my third practice, I managed to swim 25m with fins, with no breathing, which gave me
hope I still have a chance to cruise few laps. Then during my fourth practice, 25m turned into 50m with
fins. Practice number 5 took it to the 100m mark. Then I took a big step taking off my fins. It was pretty
scary, because that practice took place in Poleg, where maximum depth is 2.10m. After that I realized
Ori doesn’t hallucinate, and I do have a chance, a small one, but still a chance at swimming 1 kilometer
with no fins.
So we went on, practice after practice we made slow progress.
It was Saturday night when I got a text from Ori saying “can you make 9:30 tomorrow morning? Start
with 20 min easy swim and then I want to take your time on a very long and slow swim all together.”
I realized it doesn’t matter what he’s trying to say, it is not going to be easy.
The next day I showed up and he Ori was saying “swim 1 kilometer without stopping”. I thought he was
kidding, but Ori was pretty serious, so I started with my 1 kilometer.
At the beginning I was really bored, no music in the background and no one to talk to. The only thing
you can do is thinking of your technique. Then I hit the second half of the 1000, and I started to feel so
peaceful, in a way I’ve never felt before. I didn’t want it to end. I was thinking of nothing, I cared for
nothing, I felt so relaxed, and then I lost count. I felt like the water is holding and hugging me, telling
me “you got us, from now on we are going to be friends”.
2011. Written by Haim Bugred. 0 talkbacks.
So we went on talking until the lifeguard shouted “that was 1 kilometer. You are done”. I couldn’t
believe myself, I swam 1 kilometer without stopping, and then I was standing next to Liz to get a medal
from Ori. I still find it hard to believe, sounds to me like some kind of unrealistic story.
After we got done with the 1 km swim, we stayed in the water for almost an hour, I felt like I found the
best serenity there is out there, which made it harder on me to get out of the water, up to the point I
had no choice and I literally had to get out.
The first reason my swimming lessons were successful is Ori’s contagious love for the water. You cannot
argue Ori is a great teacher. But there were few other important things which influenced my progress in
the water. I had an amazing swimming partner. She and I will continue on to get better and faster in the
master program. She understood the difficulties I was facing in the water, encouraged me and taught
me greatly. I had most of water world staff watch me during my first lessons, and swim me through it
all, along with advices and support (the best advice I got there was to get advices from no one, except
my personal coach who takes close care of me and follows up my progress. Sometimes, you hear around
interesting things, but your coach thinks it’s not the right time to try those out, and I guess he knows
what he’s talking about).
I have 2 brothers swimming at water world, under Shani coaching and we
shared few workouts, advices and fooling around by the pool. If I wouldn’t have been able to make it
successfully with all of I have described above, I could name it carelessness.
On upcoming Sunday Liz and I are starting to swim together with Ori, preparing ourselves for master
swimming. We will also start master workouts together.
I was afraid I’m not good enough for masters,
but I’ve learned that when Ori makes a statement, he’s probably right.
Ori most likely knows how grateful I am for everything he has done for me to get me to swim, but I can’t
be thankful enough. So Ori, you are a wonderful person and a very special teacher. I feel proud telling
people I am couched by you.
Thanks for 3 months we spent together and even a bigger thanks for the futuristic experiences I’ll get to
have. I’m not planning on quitting anytime soon, and just as I was warned many times- “watch out it is
Haim is 21 years old who loves sports but had never learned how to swim. After 3 months of
joining ‘Water World’ Haim has transformed from being frightened of the water into a shark, capable of
swimming 1 kilometer with no breaks.
Sunday, November 13 2011, 3:00 pm. Written by Haim Bugrad. 0 talkbacks.
Sometimes you go through rough weeks, and you literally feel like you suck at life. Unfortunately, my
last week looked exactly like that.
I could barely finish last week’s workout, and even what I could finish was just barely. Not only I had
no energy, my whole body was hurting after workout. It made me feel terrible. I thought maybe I’ve
maximized my potential, which is unfortunate, because my ambitions take me way further. But I kept
remaining myself I never thought I’d reach my current speed level so quickly.
Ori always says you should relax your body and not fight the water, but be gentle with it. He has always
said that, and I’ve always listened and agreed, but yet never really succeed applying. When I swim with
Liz I watch the smooth strokes, but can’t seem to make those same strokes. No doubt I’m improving, but
not improving enough.
Last workout Ori and I were practicing relaxation. We didn’t practice technique or aerobic abilities.
Workout evolved only around practicing relaxation and smoothness. At the end I swam 100 meters.
That earlier practice in the middle of the week I could barely finish 100 meters, and in this one I got a
new personal life time best of 2:29 minutes, where I took 24 strokes in the last lap with a heart rate of
150. I would had never understood the importance in relaxing your body unless that workout. My body
thanked me after.
This week we worked on relaxation once again, which has made my week. I even felt better in school.
I got to a point where at times I feel like I space out in school, I show up at the pool for a one hour
workout and I get out as good as new. Its way better than taking Retalin, and I say this first hand.
Today at the pool I met a nice guy who has been working out for a while now, and I really look up to
him. He is so fast, and does it so smoothly. We talked a bit and he told me he has been following my
blog and he thinks our progression is really great. It’s always good to hear compliments, but in this case I
don’t think he was complimenting me, but Ori and ‘Water World’.
‘Water World’ is one of my favorite places to go to. Sometimes I cut short going out nights because I
need to get up early for morning workout the next day. And not just a morning workout, but a ‘Water
World’ morning workout. Showing up at the pool, seeing everybody there smiling, and then watching
high level swimmers next to beginners, all swimming together, cheering up on each other, is nothing to
take for granted. I love seeing Ori walking around and saying ‘Bonjour’ to everyone. The most important
thing I remained myself is that I no longer need to be worked with on how to get my head in the water.
Swim workout with Liz
Wednesday, October 26th
This week, Ori decided to be extra nice and have a fun workout: swimming in pairs keeping same pace,
swimming in a row with fins, without touching the swimmer’s in front of us feet, and the best one-
breathing every 2 strokes and giving high-five while doing so. When I looked at the workout sheath I was
really surprised, not only it is a onetime workout, but also its practicing with Liz. For me, it’s a great deal
that Ori thinks I’ve reached Liz’s level. She’s an incredible swimmer!
Yesterday I showed up at the pool and as I was getting done Liz arrived, I couldn’t leave without working
out with her.
It was amazing, first of all she showed me how to dolphin swim, and I came to realize I’m not so good at
We went another 50 meters with fins, on a 1.30 minute send off, with a goal pace of 1minute per 50. It
means having 30 seconds rest between each 50.
Then I realized how much I get out of training together. Besides the fact it’s so much fun, it makes me
swim way faster. I kept having a problem with my kicking and getting my arms in the water more like a
wrestler, and not like a swimmer…
When I was swimming next to Liz it got me in the right pace and strokes. She is like a row model to swim
by, and every time we reached the wall she had some tips to give me on how to swim next lap better.
We kept going another 50 with no fins, on a 2 minutes send off, with a goal pace of 1:30 minutes per
50.once again; we had 30 seconds break in between each 50.
We repeated the 50’s with fins on a 1:30 minute send off, but this time we were swimming next to each
other, alternating leading off. She started laughing every time I was hitting the fin. It’s harder in the
water than it looks!
We finished the fun part of the workout. That puts our paces exactly together.
Today Liz texted me in the middle in class, asking if I’m coming to the pool. I left class, showed up at the
pool and we went through that workout once again. After workout I caught up on my school work, and
it took me fifth the time it usually does. I guess working out with Liz is a great ADHD treatment.
The best part of swimming in ‘Water World’ is having the people around. There is always someone to
check out your technique, explain to you why and how you do it wrong, and how to correct it. More
important, there is always someone to cheer you up when you hit a wall.
Having Ori and Liz there is absolutely amazing. Ori is a great teacher, thanks to him I get times I would
have never thought I get. In my wildest dreams I never thought that after taking 6 classes I’d complete
1.6 kilometers workout and a 2 kilometers workout after 7 classes. It’s unbelievable.
Nothing can surprise me anymore, as long as I know Ori is around.
And then there is Liz, who swimming with is an amazing experience. Swimming with her is way better,
and talking on the walls is the cherry on top.
I can’t wait for next practice!