Streamlining: The Path of Least Resistance

This past weekend I participated with my triathlon club, Conejo Valley Multisport Masters (CVMM), in the U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) organization’s  One Hour Postal National Championships.  The objective of this event: To swim as far as possible in one hour in any pool you choose that is 25 yards or longer without stopping to rest, quitting or burning out too early.  Being that I am a beginner to the world of swimming and triathlons I knew that nine months ago I couldn’t even swim 25 meters without stopping to rest, let alone swim non-stop for an hour.  But, over the course of the past nine months I also experienced that with excellent coaching, a lot of practice and a real commitment comes endurance.  Within three months time of barely being able to swim 25 meters  I was able to swim non-stop for 30 minutes.  So I decided to sign up for this event and test my endurance once again.

This past Saturday while I was competing in the One Hour Postal challenge as I turned my head to the right to take a breath of air I saw my coach standing on the deck holding a whiteboard with a message written on it.  My coach’s message in big, thick red lettering said, “Streamline Julie!”  Trying to stay in my swimming rhythm I waited for my next breath and a few strokes later to confirm the message I thought I saw on the whiteboard.  Yep, sure enough, Coach Nancy was trying to get my attention as she was pointing to the board.  Apparently as my hour long swim was rolling along I was focusing on just swimming and was forgetting to streamline off the wall at the end of every 25 yards.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines stream·line:

tr.v. stream·lined, stream·lin·ing, stream·lines

1. To construct or design in a form that offers the least resistance to fluid flow. 

2. To improve the appearance or efficiency of; modernize.

a. To organize.
b. To simplify.


1. A line that is parallel to the direction of flow of a fluid at a given instant.

2. The path of one particle in a flowing fluid.

3. A contour of a body constructed so as to offer minimum resistance to a fluid flow.

Forgetting to streamline was causing me to work harder as I was swimming and not allowing me to cover as much yardage.  As I was swimming back and forth lap after lap I found it ironic that the “SpaceMaster” who helps people streamline their homes and businesses into a more productive environment had forgotten the importance of streamlining in the pool  in order to encounter the path of least resistance.

Sometimes due to the busyness of life, work and/or our family, we can lose our focus and feel like we are swimming through life just trying to endure the day.  However, as we take a sink or swim approach to our priorities, we begin to forget to streamline our lives.  When things aren’t streamlined in an organized and efficient manner we encounter the resistance of clutter, piles of paper, disorganization and inefficiency.  Unfortunately as resistance builds, so does the C.O.S.T. (C= Cash; O=Opportunities; S=Stress; T=Time) of disorganization.  We become fatigued by our “costly” inefficiencies and end up working harder rather than smarter.

I am proud to announce that I did indeed finish the hour swim without stopping once!  I surprised myself with completing 90 laps in a hour for a grand total of 2,250 yards (almost 1.4 miles).  I have already set a goal for next year: 3,000 yards in one hour.  With hard work, excellent coaching, determination and efficient streamlining it will be possible!

Just like I needed my coach’s help in making my swim more effective, sometimes we need the help of an organizing expert cheering us on and giving us tips to streamline our lives.  Take advantage of SpaceMasters 20+11= 31% off Organizing Special during the month of January.  For assistance in streamlining your home or business, contact SpaceMasters at 818.232.7145, e-mail: or visit us on the web at:

SpaceMasters’ mission is to free people from the bonds of clutter and disorganization in a non-judgmental and caring way by offering a complete range of solutions, services and products that transform unorganized spaces into efficient, functional and enjoyable environments thus allowing them to reduce stress, be more productive and save valuable time and money.


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