Hello, I'm a UK ex-pat living in France, recently bitten by the swimming bug.
I learned to perform a poor breaststroke as a child and never learned to swim with decent form, nor to swim front crawl until recently. I started in October last year, taking lessons every few weeks and swimming 3-4 times per week. Like many who start taking a sport seriously for the first time, I'm on a steep improvement slope and I love the feeling of making constant improvements.
My focus has been on front crawl and I've made a bit of progress, though I'm not fast.
I'm heavy in the legs and haven't yet found a good energy-efficient kick which keeps me in a streamlined position. I can either do a weak flutter kick which creates drag or I can kick furiously which propels me, but is exhausting. I'm dabbling with the two beat kick, but I'm far from mastering it. I also do kickboard drills.
Much of my training employs pull buoy or short pool fins, just to compensate for my weak kick. I try to structure my pool sessions so that I work on form for most of the time, then throw in a length or two at speed just to see how my form holds up. My present personal bests (25m pool) are:
Focus on efficiency: 16 strokes / 29 seconds
Focus on speed: 20 strokes / 23 seconds
Focus on efficiency: 15 strokes / 25 seconds
Focus on speed: 15 strokes / 18 seconds
Focus on efficiency (two beat kick): 20 strokes / 30 seconds
Focus on speed: 20 strokes / 24 seconds
Despite being a 41 year old male with a paunch (which is reducing), I'm optimistic that I can get much better
I've got a long way to go and I'm looking forward to joining in the chat and to learning more about this fabulous sport.