Last weekend it was speed dating, this weekend it’s swimming! Join Lou on her adventures of learning how to swim and prizing her fingers from those floats.
I let go off the balls and hands recently. You may be thinking “What on earth is she on about? And do I want to know?” Too right I say….but it is all innocent, don’t you worry. For the past…ahem…two years I have been learning on how to swim. Every Tuesday, I attend an adult class where two very (and I mean, very) patient and wonderful instructors teach/coach adults to swim – either better or from the beginning.
It was only as an adult, I wanted to learn to swim. School swimming lessons was an opportunity to not to do any “proper” work and besides, the class was too big. So, I decided as my 2015 new year’s resolution to take the plunge, literally, and sign up for swimming classes. Off I went up and down the pool swimming with floats, learning to breathe, kicking my feet…I thought I would be independent (without floats) within the matter of weeks. Have you ever seen that advert in the cinema where ‘apparently’ it takes an average person (who is this average person?) around 20 lessons to learn to swim? Pffttt…..
Well, as I said, roll on nearly two years and I’ve only just learnt to be independent around two months ago. Believe me, my instructors and myself tried everything to prize my fingers from those floats…noodles…a metal pole at some point….and various other equipment. But, it turned out that my fingers were tightly or rather glued on to these things, like a magnet to a fridge…
I – and we – even tried to diagnose my “problem” to this attachment problem. Am I afraid of water? Nope…I love water. Seriously, I do. I was that child, in those school swimming lessons, that was leaping into water even though I couldn’t swim. Am I afraid of drowning? Well, yes…but isn’t everybody?? Am I afraid of what may happen if I let go? Probably. Isn’t everybody?
As adults, we lose that wanderlust that we seem to have as a child where we are not afraid of the consequences; not afraid of the…ifs, buts and maybes. I don’t know how or when we lose that innocence, at some point, we learn to control ourselves and think of the consequences.
We know that if we let go, something bad may happen, which may harm ourselves or others. But, what we forget is…if we do let go, something good may happen. If I let go of the objects…then, I may float…and start to actually swim. This change of attitude came around after getting frustrated with myself – I started to compare my progress with those who were new to swimming but by the end of the lesson, started to swim like Ariel….
One should not compare with others; the rate of learning differs from person to person…but that comparison can be a good motivator to improve. I was sick of my lack of progress. I wanted to be like Ariel, so I began to focus, I stared at the wall, leapt up and let go. A huge step and gosh, it felt good!!! I survived. It was only a couple of metres but that to me was real progress. I’ve been building on that experience ever since; just little steps such as swimming more of a distance, and trying to get the arms working. It will come in time, I know, but I’m just so glad that I have finally made that leap….
What age did you learn to swim?