As a child, I remember taking horrifying swimming lessons from a woman who would make us hold empty gallon milk jugs under our arms (caps were on) and jump into the deep end. From there, we had to swim to the shallow end, where she would shove our heads under the water to get us used to putting our faces in the water. Instead all of this making me like swimming and making me want to learn to swim properly, it scared me! As you can probably imagine, my swimming has been pretty limited because of it. I somewhat like to swim (if I can touch and/or see the bottom), but rarely go under water and never open my eyes under water. Oh, and forget going under water without plugging my nose! I even used to fake reasons why I couldn’t swim when it was part of gym class in school.
Last night I was at a pool party with my boyfriend’s family and his nieces thought that it was funny when I told them I’d never jumped off of a diving board because it was scary. His 11 year old niece took me on as her special project, trying to teach me to go under water without holding my nose. Eventually, when I couldn’t figure out how to blow enough air out of my nose under water, she told me “Well, maybe you could hire a personal swimming teacher for like $10 an hour.” Yeah, even an 11 year old realizes I’m hopeless!
Even though I “failed” at my lessons last night, the fact that I tried and let the kids try to help me was progress in itself. For several years now I’ve had the desire to learn to swim properly or be able to jump in the water, but there’s a fear factor there dating back about 22 years. It’s hard to overcome that and it’s certainly not going to happen overnight. Considering I live in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” it just might be a good idea to take the advice and hire a personal swimming teacher!