My mother could not swim, and was afraid of being in water over her head. She was uncomfortable in pools and lakes and never enjoyed herself.
When she was in her early 30s she realized that she had small children who were GOING to want to go into water - and she signed up for lessons.
Things went really well - she was getting over her fear and she was feeling more comfortable. Until the last lesson where they were supposed to do their "test" to get their completion certificate.
The teacher showed up in a suit - he had an event to go to afterwards - and she IMMEDIATELY felt unsafe - in her mind, there was NO WAY that if she got into trouble, that he was going to jump into the pool and save her - he would not want to ruin his suit and she WAS GOING TO DROWN. She was paralyzed and could not complete the test. She even said to him what she was worried about - and he told her he would absolutely jump in and save her if need be - but she could not believe him.
I'm pretty sure that was the day she signed us up for swimming lessons - she decided we had to know how to swim - she didn't want any of her kids to feel that terror AND she needed us to be able to save ourselves, because she realized she wasn't going to be able to do it :)
It was a good choice - because 2 of the 4 of her kids - myself and my youngest brother - are absolute FISH - we LOVE the water and will take any opportunity to be in it. The other two, are comfortable in the water and have no fear, but aren't as crazy about the water as D and I are :D
But I remember multiple times my mother saying to us - you're on your own in the water - watch out for each other because I can't come in to save you :D
Edited at 2018-09-14 07:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, your poor mother! That is heart-breaking. But I'm very glad it propelled her to get you four in the water, and that it totally worked for all of you.
I grew up in (and still live in) Michigan, where you are never more than a couple of miles from a lake or other significant body of water. Boating is a way of life for many people here, so being comfortable and confident in water is a necessity and swimming lessons for kids are a matter of course. I took them through the American Red Cross from a fairly young age and continued with them until I was about 11 and had passed the intermediate stroke class. I tried to learn to dive, but it turns out I really have a hard time going into water head first (I'll jump from most diving board heights feet first with ease, but something in me seizes up when I try to actually dive.)
My kids haven't had as extensive formal lessons as I did, but they have both had some swimming lessons, and they are both comfortable in the water.
I don't like diving either. I've tried to teach myself and failed. I'd probably need lessons to learn to do it properly.
One of my best memories is of my Mom teaching me how to put my face in the water and blow bubbles. And from there to duk my whole head under water. In the bath tub. She had me put on my swim suit and then we went to the 'pool' to practice. I was 4 or 5, I think. I had swim lessons at a real pool from then until I was about 10. I had all the lessons except life guard and I was too young for that one.
2018-09-15 19:12 (UTC)
Re: A new day
The bubble-blowing technique is great. Keiki loves doing it, and it made him comfortable putting his head under. I don't really understand why my parents never did it with me!
I had swimming lessons when I was at primary school (I'd probably have been about ten), but I didn't learn to swim then. Too much pressure. Maybe a year-or-two later, my dad took me to the local swimming pool and, supporting me in the water, I realised that it wasn't difficult to float, and I soon found I could swim. It's very much like learning to ride a bike. I wouldn't say I've ever been a great swimmer, but I do love being in the water.
I wouldn't say I've ever been a great swimmer, but I do love being in the water.
I'm the same. I don't understand going to the swimming pool and just sitting by the side of it. I mean, I will happily sunbathe for some of the time, of course, but before that, I want a play in the water!
I always feel so much better after a session in the swimming pool. If only it was free, I think I would become addicted to it and would spend a couple of hours in the pool every day. Imagine how skinny and fit I would get! Unfortunately, my local municipal pool charged about £6-per-session last time I was there, and that was a few years ago. That's enough to keep me in food for several days!
Swimming lessons were definitely not a thing in the context of my upbringing. My parents would have made a wtf face if someone had suggested it. Kids don't have formal lessons to learn how to walk or ride a bicycle; those are just things they learn naturally during the course of their childhood with a bit of parental guidance. Swimming was in that same category. The only thing they would have considered an 'acceptable' reason to take lessons would be if you were training to learn a specific type of swimming, e.g. if you were planning on competing and you needed to know how to do the different types of strokes to a competition level.
This is true for me too, the incredulity toward lessons.
I’m glad I eventually figured it out.
My parents had the same attitude toward swimming lessons. I find myself wishing now that they hadn't, watching how strong a swimmer Humuhumu is becoming.
My Mum was a local backstroke champion, and later became a swim teacher. My sister was a swimming champion during her high school years, and later became a swim teacher and lifeguard. My other sister and I had lessons but were never quite as good. But, we grew up by the ocean so it was necessary for us to know how to swim.
I think I was scared of putting my head under until I was about seven. There's a photo of me sitting in an inflatable pool in the backyard of a house we lived in for about 18 months. My brother and older sister are encouraging me to put my head under and I've got my hands covering my face.
I do love to swim now. I'm not great but it I much prefer it as exercise over running.
Wow, professional swimmers in your family. I recently learned that the mother of Humuhumu's awesome swim teacher also works at the same pool. I wonder if you found it helpful having all those coaches when you were trying to overcome your fear or if it was just a bit intimidating!
I can't really remember...I just know I was about seven and I must have had some fear of water. It seems a bit ridiculous now.
I started lessons with Lyddon, he absolutely adores it. In the summer we swim in outdoor, unheated pools, rivers and the sea. I'm really keen for him to learn, but we've had to stop due to me being too pregnant now.
Aw, glad to hear Lyddon loves his lessons! Hopefully you can start up again after the bump arrives. We never brought Keiki to Humuhumu's lessons after the first time, because he kept trying to climb over the barriers and join her in the pool. Family lessons would've been an ideal solution if they'd had them at convenient times for work...