Fall Down 7 Get up 8

Week of September 1st. 2010

Reader Comments Forum - "Call The Suit" Book

   I have been recieving  a few comments and honest feedback from my book, Call the Suit, so I decided to create its own place here to allow anyone access to real feedback from real people, as I continue striving to "Keep it Real!"

Thank you all so much for your passion for sport!

Hey Sheila,

Firstly, I think this is the article you've already seen that is up on LAVA right now, but just in case:)


MORE IMPORTANTLY, the swimming is coming along so well!!!! Thank you again so so much. We have just been taking it very, very slowly with mainly drills and kicking but the other day we did a slow 400 warm-up, then kick 500, then 10x100s and I did them all around the 1:17/1:18 (granted it was a 2-minute send-off, so i had complete recovery). Then kicked again and then tried a few more 100s but I was so tired and the form fell apart, so we ended. But then TODAY- same warmup, kick 500, then I did 6x100s on 1:13/1:13/1:13/1:12/1:11 and i almost puked when i got the 1:11 so we swam a bit easy, another 500kick and then another 6x100s and they were all steady in at 1:13!!!!! so i know the 2-minute send-off is not exactly good, but i swam a 100 in a 1:11! it's just so exciting, as i've been working so hard at swimming for like 3 years and the fastest i've EVER seen one was probably around a 1:16 or so and that was 1-time when i went "all-out" to see what i could get.....

so anyways, thank you again!!!!!! i hope your traveling is going well. thanks sheila!

Heather Jackson | Professional Triathlete


 ---"My sons were in the kayak filming while I swam out at Island lake. I am amazed by a few things. One is, that I sure don't swim like I thought I did. Two, I thought my stroke counts were fast, but they were almost 2 seconds. So, those were both really enlightening.
So, I am going through the book, and doing the dryland exercises, and taking notes with questions.
I'll put some together, and send them over in an email. Thanks for taking the time to help me swim better.
One thing,... I am an engineer. I hope that doesn't fill you with fear of endless questions.. But, if you want to run for the hills, I would understand that too.
    *ps. Pushing off the wall in a streamlined position, I mean really pushing off in a streamline, is so effective for position, and a stretch, that I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't experience it for myself. I think that you are the only person in any book, or video, or conversation that has ever mentioned that to me.---  
 ----"RR in Michigan"----


Where was that book 5 years ago????? You have such great energy and humor. I love the way you write, and the stuff you write MAKES SENSE!!! Imagine that...information that makes sense. Great, great book. I just bought myself a little camcorder and I'm going to film myself swimming. Your book and pictures in it really gave me a very good idea as to what a proper stroke "should" look like, and perhaps I can compare that with my own stroke and critique it / pick out the things that don't look right.
----GM, Palm Springs, California----


Hi Sheila,
   Just wanted to drop you a note of thanks for your book. It feels like you wrote it just for me. I’m the classic triathlete who kept hearing about streamlining & gliding & blah blah blah and could never get any faster. I got your book 2 days ago, read it from cover to cover in one sitting and starting working on the drills yesterday. It’s going to take a while to build up pulling strength, but when doing those drills it feels like I’m actually (amazingly…finally) moving forward instead of just coasting. The thing that really hit home for me is that my warm up times really are pretty close to my race times, regardless of how much I trained or how hard I swam.
   Anyway, I’m really excited to focus on pulling instead of just gliding…it makes so much more sense. I’ll try and drop you a line in a month or so and let you know how it’s going.
   I’m also going to try to make it to your swim session in Tulsa in a couple weeks. I hope I can make it and look forward to meeting you if I do!
----T.H......Hopeful age grouper-----


--A fun magazine article on the making of "Call the Suit"--


Dear She Rocks!.
Love your name. That says it all.

So, the commitment to technique is really what it all boils down to, isn't it? I have good days, and bad days in the pool, just like everyone else, but I had a really good day yesterday. I have spent the last two weeks really concentrating on technique in the pool, and also with the bands. All of that work has absolutely reinforced the correct high elbow position.

The kickboard drill is pretty hard actually, but it is getting easier the more I do it. Press outs at the side of the pool are harder than I remember as a kid, but they have fond memories of my days swimming in the Royal Oak Dondero pool (about 1,200 years ago).
So, I haven't spent a lot of time looking at the clock on the side of the pool the last few weeks. It is kind of liberating really. No matter what I did before, it was always 25 meters at 23, or 24 seconds. Sometimes it would be 22, but that was pretty rare, and then I never could figure out what I did better to lower the time. Those times always translated into the same 100 times too. Frustrating. But, I love the water, and the swim, the smell of the pool, and the smell of chlorine on me through the day. No matter how bad a work day gets, if I smell my hands, and get the scent of chlorine it makes the day better. It's like when I played hockey, it was always the smell of the rink, and the ice that I loved the most.

So, I'm kind of a rambler, but I am getting round to what I was going to tell you at the beginning. At the end of my workout yesterday, I was just swimming 25's. Not super fast, but really focused on the streamline off the wall, and then the high elbow, and not over reaching. I looked up at the clock after one of these 25's, and I had made it in an easy 20 seconds. So, I of course was amazed, and thought I counted the time wrong, because no matter how hard I swam before, I never had a chance of getting to this kind of time. What I got was tired out. So, I did another. 20 seconds, no problem, and another, and another. wow. How cool is that?
  So, one of your quotes in the book is "Expect to be first out of the water.." For me, it was more of a dream, but even after two weeks with your book, (I have read through it 3 times already) the tube exercises, and the commitment in the water to technique. It is more of an achievable reality than a dream. sweet.
So, I need to work on a name, but it needs to be something like
   He that loves the water. But I love the bike too. and the run for that matter. I like seeing the world at a slower pace on the bike, and then in the run too.
Let me work on the name for a bit.
For now, I'll sign off as- RR in Mich.
...& Thankful that you wrote in a way that has made me swim better.

Hi Sheila:
I keep hearing great things about your swim sessions in Nashville last week. It kills me that I was out of town. So many of my friends are talking about how much they benefitted from your lessons. They also say that you were a great teacher/coach. I think you not only have the right stuff, you know how to communicate it.
     I hope you are doing well. I'm sorry I missed you. It would have been fun to see you again...and to take your class.
I hope you are getting a good response to your book. ~You should be proud of it.