Swimming the butterfly across an African creek wouldn’t feature highly on many ‘to do’ lists.
But for Abdul Jamal, a chartered accountant from Leytonstone, East London, ‘flying’ across the Kilifi Creek in Kenya, was the perfect way to celebrate his 70th Birthday, in April this year.
“Swimming has been really good for me,” he explains. “My health and wellbeing – both physical and mental – have greatly improved since taking it up eight years ago. And a lot of that is to do with the butterfly stroke. Its grace and beauty make it my favourite.”
As a tai chi teacher, I found Steven’s methodology completely intuitive – the walking practices and the calmness were very familiar but the way this translated into swimming was an absolute revelation to me. The idea that one could find that meditative calmness and enjoyment of the water, particularly if swimming long distances, was so inspiring – which was why I went on to train with Steven as a Shaw Method teacher.
I first became aware of Terry Laughlin’s work in 1995 when I was researching for my book the Art of Swimming. I was really impressed by the clarity of his writing and simplicity of his descriptions and I felt he was a kindred spirit.