My cardiologist is intent on giving me a heart attack.


Ever since that mysterious incident when I blacked out at the Smith street rotary in North Providence and totaled my new Tasca Ford Escape, which saved my life by the way....thank you Ford Motor Company, I've been monitored 24/7 by a gizmo implanted in my chest made by Medtronics. It's a bionic EKG which transmits a signal to St Joseph's Hospital here in the ATL.


Every day I exercise strenuously, about as hard as I did when I worked out with the Hamline University swim team when I was in high school. I don't run well....more like a marionette in a gunny sack....but I can swim like a barracuda. So, to get my heart rate up, doctor’s orders, I swim for thirty minutes to an hour depending on what I feel like that day. Some days it's distance, some days it's wind sprints.


Recently, I watched the USA women's swim team compete in the Pan Am games which was filling space on ESPN because there was nothing else going on. No NHRA, no NFL, or world championship little league playoffs. Watching those women swim blew my portholes open. In the 50 meter freestyle, none of them turned their heads to the side to catch a breath. It was a 50 meter pool so no flip turns. Straight ahead, no turning their heads, one breath all in one shot.


So I tried it today. I wish I'd known about this when I was in high school. I swam head on for 40 yards without taking a breath and found that I slipped through the water effortlessly, with a better kick and a more powerful stroke. I also noticed, since I wear Speedo goggles that don't leak, that my face was more centered towards the bottom of the pool rather than lifted slightly into the break of the water in front of my forehead.


It was amazing. My body was more relaxed, more streamlined, and I found that after a few laps of swimming this way, I became used to not taking a breath...just slicing forward with no turn of my head.


If you're not a hot rod in the water.....most people aren't because for them, swimming is just another way to keep from drowning... this technique may not mean much to you but if up you are, and like to swim competitively, in a Masters division or otherwise, start practicing. It's a much sleeker way to move through the water and a great cardio workout as well. You'll adapt to it easily and your doctor will be impressed with your heart rate the next time you go in to take a stress test or have your ticker checked out.


My cardiologist is hell bent on demolishing my heart, but with this new technique, I'll be around for a while before he gets his wish.