How Harry Potter taught me how to swim

This is 2004, I was staying back in college during the summer vacations (for a research project) and had a strong urge to learn swimming.  If I could learn and be good at it, this probably would be the only sport at which it would be so. ( I used to suck at all other sports I tried). But swimming was really close to my heart & I had to give a whole hearted attempt at learning it.

I was in the list of  candidates who could make it to the team which would compete in the upcoming inter-college sports event. Now we had to get trained to give a good fight in the competition.  So we got a trainer from the Army who could help us with that.


We had a standard 50m pool and our training used to happen every morning 4-5 hours + a few hours in the evening. This was the time when my stamina & endurance were constantly being stretched and tested. (I was already a high endurance dancer, but swimming , especially sprints took far more energy and endurance).

So it would go like this:

  1. Start with a 45 min warm up by running stairs.
  2. Then do a further warmup by swimming 6-8 laps in the pool ( 300-400 m).
  3.  By this time you are tired and exhausted already 😉
  4. Now lets start sprints – 50m and 100 m.  Jump and race to the end  – super fast.
  5. Do 4 such sprints.
  6. Now relax by doing another 5-6 laps.
  7. Sprints again
  8. Again relax by doing another 5-6 laps.
  9. Now take a 10 min break.
  10. Now play water polo for the next couple of hours.

During and after these sprints, almost all my body parts and my lungs used to pain (actually scream with pain inside my head) . And that pain used to be un-bearable many times. This is when Harry Potter helped me 🙂  Every ‘relax’ round of 5-6 laps I used to imagine watching Harry Potter movies in my head and distract my attention from the pain to the amazing world of Harry Potter.

There have not been many situations after that where I had to do this, but focussing on good things in life when in extreme stress lets you pass through it & makes you stronger.

Thanks to JK Rowling for creating the stories that became that good thing for me !



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