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  • Writer's pictureEmma Tanti

7 Italian Concepts We Incorporate in our Practice

Swimming is not just a physical activity; it's a holistic experience that engages the mind, body, and spirit. In our pursuit of excellence in the water, we can draw inspiration from the rich tapestry of Italian culture and wisdom. The Italians have a way of infusing simplicity and elegance into everyday life, and we can learn valuable lessons from their sayings. Let's explore how we can incorporate these seven Italian expressions into our swim practices, adding depth and meaning to our aquatic endeavors.

1. Il Dolce Far Niente (The Sweetness of Doing Nothing):

In the world of swimming, where every stroke and kick counts, it's crucial to find moments of tranquility. This phrase encourages us to appreciate the stillness of the water, to float effortlessly and savor the peace that comes with it. Master the art of enjoying the moment - without the need to be productive or busy. Incorporate moments of mindfulness into your practice—allow yourself to glide weightlessly, feeling the water embrace you. Use the time you have to rest in between sets to recharge mentally (without letting your mind wonder) and physically.

2. Festina Lente (Make Haste Slowly):

Swimming is not just about speed; it's about precision and technique. It's better to take small, measured steps in the right direction, than fast leaps in the wrong direction. It teaches us to maintain a balance between urgency and patience. Rushing through drills may lead to poor form, while taking it too slow may hinder progress. Find the optimal pace for improvement, focusing on each movement deliberately to refine your skills. One must also remeber to set tiny, short-term goals, and not to try and accomplish everything at once. Ulitmately this is the best way to prevent injury and see long term results last.

3. Fare una Passeggiata (Take a Stroll):

Sometimes, the best way to overcome a swimming plateau is to step back and take a figurative stroll. This Italian saying encourages us to explore new approaches to training, perhaps incorporating alternative strokes or trying different training regimens. Taking a "swim stroll" may bring a fresh perspective and renewed enthusiasm to your practice.

4. Lupus in Fabula (The Wolf in the Fairytale):

In swimming, challenges and obstacles are inevitable, but they are also opportunities for growth. It reminds us to confront our fears head-on. Instead of avoiding difficult drills or strokes, face them with courage. Just like the wolf in the fairytale, there is always an unexpected obstacle around the corner, plan for the risk, your challenges can be tamed through persistence and determination.

5. Anni, Amori e Bicchieri di Vino - Non Si Contano Mai (Years, Lovers, and Glasses of Wine - these things must not be counted):

Swimming is a journey, not a destination. Age is just a number, you are never "too old" to reinvent yourself or to try a new skill. Wether you are new to the sport or have dedicated years to swimming, you must celebrate every milestone and improvement without fixating on the long road ahead. Life is short, and must be lived to it's fullset, so why not cherish the experiences and the joy of swimming, rather than getting caught up in the metrics.

6. Sprezzatura (nonchalance to appear effortless):

In the water, as in life, there's a certain beauty in making the difficult appear effortless. We try to cultivate a sense of ease in our stroke, through various drills. Refine your strokes and movements until they become second nature, allowing you to glide through the water with ease and elegance.

7. La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful):

Perhaps the most profound of all, this saying reminds us that swimming is not just a sport—it's a part of our life's journey. Embrace the challenges, relish the victories, and find joy in the simple act of being in the water. Take a moment to notice the little things, the first shiver on your back when you take off your robe, the coolness on your face when you take your breath, and how full your lungs feel when you inhale. Every experience can bring you a sense of joy.

Our swim practices are always anything other than boring, we not only focus on the physical aspects but also on the mental and emotional dimensions, in a fun, never seen before way, every session. Sometimes our practices (if you look deep within, because they usually just seem weird from first glace) have wisdom embedded to add layers of meaning to our time in the water, transforming each practice into a mindful and enriching experience. So, channel your inner Italian spirit, and let the beauty of these expressions enhance your journey through the aquatic realm.

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