Swim Success Blog -- My personal soapbox on swimming, learning, and life

Meaning of Help

The meaning of the word "help" sometimes gets lost by a person who takes a job away from its rightful owner.

My story: I asked, "In school, when you ask the teacher for help with a math problem, what does she do?"

4th grader answers, "She does the problem for me."

Related Posts:
   1. Grass seeds level (Jun 16, 2014)
   2. New Word for Health-Promoting Physical Activity (Oct 13, 2012)
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Grass seeds level

Most of us have a fair idea of what it means when we refer to the Grassroots.

I propose a "grass seeds" level that is lower and far less organized than the Grassroots level. This is an almost-completely individualized level with a strong emphasis on personal responsibility. It NEVER protests, marches, demands, or has sit-ins or similar group activities.

It considers self and others equally. It asks individuals to look inside themselves to find that special talent or passion that would be a kinder/gentler, not-angry, non-aggressive (either passive or active), option for giving that inspires oneself. It then opens an avenue for each individual to give that which s/he finds intrinsically rewarding. It seeks no extrinsic rewards.

Related Posts:
   1. Meaning of Help (Feb 20, 2015)
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New Word for Health-Promoting Physical Activity

A useful word comes by combining the ph and activity from "physical activity" and the .h. from "health." In order to clearly specify a physical activity of the type that builds fitness versus just any type of physical movements, Elise coined the word, phactivity (pronounced factivity). Thus, phactivity specifies a critical difference between any physical movement in general and a health-promoting physical activity in specific.

An activity may be a physical activity without offering significant physical health benefits. An oft-used example would be the use of one's thumbs on a gaming device. In fact, strolling out and standing in center field offers relatively little in improved physical health. In contrast, running to and from center field is a phactivity, and various other types of participation in softball or baseball offer much-needed phactivity as well.

Sitting in the bleachers during a game is an activity, and one may employ physical movements such as cheering and eating popcorn. All of these activities may provide good rest and relaxation. However, that would not be considered a phactivity.

When we hear or read statements such as, "Children must be more active to avoid overweight and related health issues," we understand that refers to certain types of movements and activities like running to and from center field and not to other types of movements and activities like sitting in the stands cheering and eating. In addition, when we say children must be more active, we are not meaning to encourage more fidgeting in class or more thumb activity on a gaming device. It is understood that we want to encourage more walking, running, swimming, weight lifting, and many other fitness-enhancing movements.

So, to add precision to statements referring to health-promoting physical activities, I propose the use of the words, phactive and phactivities.

Related Posts:
   1. Meaning of Help (Feb 20, 2015)
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A special section just for ... news!

Link to A special section just for ... news!

Hi. The website has a separate section for news, including schedules and more. That leaves the blog as a soapbox.

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Red Flag 02 THE way

... the way ...

That requires a Red Flag--not bacause of what it says--rather because of what it doesn't say.

If a swim instructor says, for example, "This is the way to kick," that sounds innocent enough. Right?

What it fails to say is that there are other ways to kick as well. By saying, this is the way to kick, one actually is saying this is the only way to kick.

Argument: No. The instructor is not saying this is the only way to kick. If the instructor meant to say that, (s)he would say that.

Response: It is the responsibility of the instructor to utilize exceptional clarity whenever possible.

So, let's try some alternative statements that offer more complete clarity.

  • This is the kick we'll be learning now.
  • This is a way to kick.
  • This is the flutter kick.
  • This is one way to kick.
  • This is the way I want you to kick.
  • This is the kick that is used with this stroke.
  • This is the kick I want you to use.

Let "... the way ... " raise a red flag in your speech. Then, look for an alternative that improves on clarity.

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