Swimming not your strong suit? Make waves with these tips

We asked New Tropic readers to tell us one wellness goal they’re trying to reach, and then we chose six of them to pair with fitness and wellness experts across the 305 who are helping them achieve those goals.

The catch? Each challenger has to keep us updated on their progress and share all their best tips and advice along the way. Our hope is everyone in our community can learn from the advice experts give our challengers.

So help us in cheering on each of our challengers. Now meet one of those brave Miamians:

Bradley Strickland

Wellness goal: To improve his overall wellness, learn to swim, and get more comfortable in the water.

Why he wants to achieve it:“I’m a marine biologist so I work a lot in the water and I just haven’t ever felt super comfortable.”

His wellness expertErinne Guthrie an instructor with Full Circle Coaching


Update #1
We asked Bradley: Does reaching your wellness goal feel impossible to you? Why or why not? What’s the first step you’re taking to try and reach it?

“I know that I can do it and I realize it’s not going to be easy or comfortable. But once I have this in my mind, it’s all about how much I want it.”

Update #2
We asked Bradley: What’s one thing you tried to do this week to reach your goal? What did you learn?

“Over the last week and a half, Erinne worked to improve my running form. Running is a great way to increase your fitness level; however, it is critical to make sure you are doing it right to avoid injury. I learned that I incorrectly over-stride and intensely strike with my heel.”

“The past few training sessions I have been conscious of where my foot strikes and I have focused on increasing my cadence. These things have noticeably made me a better runner and make me excited to add running to my fitness program.”

“With swimming you have to kick from the hips and keep your legs straight. Reach and almost pull the water back with your arms and try to bend your elbow with each pull.”

Update #3
We asked Bradley: What’s one valuable piece of advice you’ve received so far from the trainer we’ve paired you with? How have you used that advice?

“One thing that Erinne constantly emphasizes is the importance of having the willingness to learn and then the commitment to change. It has been so enlightening to have Erinne and her coaches share their knowledge and expertise on having the perfect technique and right attitude. While it is certainly difficult to process all the instruction and to commit hours of training in my already busy life, it is encouraging to see progress as I become stronger, faster, and more knowledgeable of the correct run form and swim technique.”

Update #4
We asked Bradley: At any point have you felt like giving up on your goal? Why? How have you encouraged yourself to stick with it?

“I have not felt like giving up, but sometimes I try to create excuses about why I shouldn’t work out—I feel like I don’t have time or I’m too tired. But the key is to push myself to just get started and not think so much about the actual training. If I put on my workout clothes, set my gear by the door, or walk down to the pool everything else follows. And every single time I work out, I feel better about myself and I make real progress.”

Update #5
We asked Bradley: What did you learn? Do you feel like you hit your goal? If not, do you plan to keep working at it?

“I learned so much from Erinne, Full Circle Coaching, and the Wellness Challenge. I can demonstrate proper swim technique and I now feel efficient and comfortable in the water. I also have an improved running form and am much faster. Throughout the process, Erinne taught me about general nutrition and helped me learn how to train and pace. The knowledge of how to train, eat, swim, and run correctly is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I plan to keep doing these things to improve my overall health and wellness for as long as I can.

I definitely feel like I got everything I wanted out of the program and I certainly met my goals. I will continue to train and work on my swim and run. Thank you guys so much! I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural challenge.”

We’ll keep updating this page with #realtalk from Bradley and tips from Erinne. Want to share some advice that’s worked well for you? Leave it in the comments!