Wednesday, May 07, 2014

More swimming

Some thoughts on the end of my beginner swim lessons, before they fade away:

Where I started: Reluctant to go in the water, and scared of water too deep to stand in; unable to float or swim at all; no desire to ever set foot in a pool.

Where I ended after seven weeks of lessons: Pretty comfortable in water I can stand up in, and OK in deep water if there is something I can hold on to. I can float and swim freestyle or backstroke, but I get tired about halfway across the pool and need to rest. Actually like swimming as exercise, even though I think it's a pain to get all wet and covered with stinky chlorine and have to deal with a wet bathing suit.

The kids' lessons are so different from the adult lessons. Both kids were scooping, kicking, and jumping into the pool by the end of their first half hour. In my first lesson, we learned to put our head under and practice floating.

My three keys to getting comfortable in the water: practice (duh); goggles; and developing the instinct to blow water out of my nose and mouth as soon as my head goes underwater.

Another thing that helped was just developing a routine. I get a little anxious when I'm doing something new, even driving someplace I haven't been before. Figuring out all the logistics, like what I needed to bring and how to navigate the locker room, helped me feel more comfortable about going back.

I need to get in the pool at least once a week, preferably twice. The longer I stay out of the pool, the less I want to go back. I'm already dragging my feet on continuing the lessons.


  1. I'm with you on not being a pool fan. I love hearing about how your adventures are going and so proud of you for doing something a little uncomfortable!

  2. Well you've inspired me. I'm considering taking lessons. What were the other students in your class like? Did any of them go on to intermediate? Did your instructor ever push you too fast?

    1. I felt a little silly taking beginner lessons as an adult, but it turns out that when I tell people about it, there are a lot of us out there who aren't comfortable in the water as adults. Everyone else was a total beginner and most of us were apprehensive about the water. Our instructor took things slowly and kept going back to basics, which I appreciated. The other beginner group that met at the same time went a lot faster (the instructors just had different styles), but they all liked their class too. Nobody was really ready for intermediate at the end -- we took seven lessons and went from non-swimming to swimming, but for intermediate you need to be able to swim several laps in a row without stopping and none of us progressed that far. Some people are going to repeat the beginner class, others are planning to take private lessons.