LEARNING TO SWIM AS AN ADULT … LAURIE SMITH TELLS US HER STORY
Growing up I didn’t know how to swim and never even bothered learning until 2 years ago. The fact is I was afraid. After almost drowning in a river as a kid when I was 6 I was scarred.
Fast forward 18 years later and at 24 I still wasn’t comfortable in the water. Things were getting serious because I was slightly overweight. I had tried running but HATED it, and my feet and knees would hurt afterwards.
So I decided to try swimming.
After all, it is easy on the bones and joints and you don’t get hurt swimming.
Although I lived in an apartment that had a pool I almost never went because I was embarrassed I couldn’t swim. My boyfriend offered to teach me but I didn’t want to learn how to swim in front of other college students.
He mentioned taking swimming lessons but I thought that would be almost as embarrassing. What kind of adult takes swimming lessons? They are meant for little kids!
After a couple of months of slowly gaining weight I decided I needed to do something about it and saw that a near by city (Sierra Madre, California -US) offered some group swimming lesson for all ages and so I decided to take the plunge and enroll.
Getting over my Embarrassment
On my first day of the group lessons I was still very nervous. I didn’t feel quite like myself because I also bought a onesy and didn’t want to wear a bikini in front of potentially tons of kids and adults!
I arrived a little early and my stomach shrank as I saw the other people in the class arrive – they were all little kids with not one being older than 10. Needless to say I was ashamed.
It was hard for me to focus because I was so nervous and thinking about how I was a grown adult learning how to swim in a group full of kids. The instructor, Damien, however was really nice and encouraging to me. I think he could tell I felt.
However, towards the end of my class another person comes in, apologizing she was late, and guess what! She was actually just 2 years younger. Her name was Susan and we quickly became fast friends over the next 8 weeks and learned how to swim together.
Finding My Rhythm
As I learned how to swim through class I quickly began to really enjoy swimming. What used to be a childhood fear quickly became a wonderful form of exercise and passion.
Doctors told me my bones and joints were looking healthy, and my shin splints went away, but I never needed to go back! I was swimming laps 3-4 times a week – often with Susan because we lived so close together.
I quickly lost some weight and slimmed down from the constant exercise and I noticed a big improvement not only in my physical health, but also was a LOT happier. This was the first time I had consistently been physically active and now I understand the benefits of it.
And guess what. I haven’t stopped.
Now, I continue to swim about 2 times a week as my primary form of exercise, and also enjoy playing in the pool with my kids. Fortunately, I live in California so the pool never gets too cold to swim and it’s a great way to cool off in the hot summer.
Honestly, I can’t imagine my life without swimming. I know there are a ton of other adults out there who can’t swim – whether you are older or younger. It’s hard to take the plunge (literally) and learn how to swim, but honestly it’s so worth it.
If you enjoy it HALF as much as I did then you’ll easily be able to see a huge improvement in your life 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Thanks Laurie! Laurie is a proud mother of 2 and home owner with a pool. Her two favorite hobbies include hiking and swimming. She created a blog to help others learn about pool care and maintenance. You can find it here.
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