As you may know I started my swimming lessons back in March. I had had lessons 20 odd years ago, but I didn’t get far, my fears remained, I never really got there. So I’ve spent most Friday evenings since March having an hours lesson. It’s been a shock, I thought I’d just learn one stroke and that would be that. No, from week 1 we’ve looked at breast stroke, front crawl and back stroke. Eek. Swimming progress?
Well some weeks are good, I feel that’s I’m overcoming fears and starting to get somewhere, other weeks are an absolute disaster and I come home quite disheartened. I like our instructor, she’s taught my son in the past, she knows my fears, knows that my brain stops functioning half way through the classes. But the lessons have been a bit disjointed, there hasn’t seemed to be any real structure and I feel that I’ve been treading water and not really overcoming my issues for a few weeks.
Our instructor was due to have a baby, so on Friday night we had a new instructor. I was nervous, as we didn’t know who would be teaching us. Would they expect too much? Would I like, and feel confident in them? I was certainly feeling anxious as I get ready to go in the pool on Friday.
It was a really nice surprise to have an instructor that I’d had on the second lesson I had back in March. He said he was taking our class for the evening to assess where we all were. Fair enough and actually it was really good to go right back to basics. I’m struggling with getting my breathing right, and front crawl has become a nemesis, total mental block.
The first time I met this instructor, he asked me to go back in the water with him supporting my head. I was totally terrified, shaking, struggling not to have a panic attack. I had never been on my back in the water in my life. But he was great with me, and I eventually did it. So Friday we could both see my swimming progress. I can happily go on my back, I can swim on my back, I’m getting the hang of my stroke better. I enjoy back stroke. Most people have absolutely no idea how big an achievement this is; for me it is huge.
I’m quite happy doing breast stroke now, but because I don’t get my breathing right, I can’t go very far before I stop. Yes, the deep end is still a very long way away for me. But that’s not just breathing to sort out, that’s an absolute terror of being out of my depth.
The instructor gave me some pointers, they helped and I could see it all start to come together. Now I just need to remember that this Friday. Another issue. I find by the following week, things still aren’t automatic, some lessons I spend half the session just getting back to where I ended the week before. Frustrating.
Then it was time to ‘show off’ our front crawl. Off you go Mary, you’re up first. Ok, I just can’t get this right, I struggle to get going which then totally throws me out, add in remember. Ok, no problem. We took it back to basics and I got the hang of things a bit better. The breathing still has a long way to go, but it made more sense. A different approach was working.
Swimming progress, he could see the difference. I get my face in the water. You may laugh at that idea, but seriously, getting my face in the water = big achievement too. I believe I can swim = major swimming progress. I don’t believe I am swimming well = work in progress.
I still have a lot of obstacles to overcome, including the big one. Getting to the other end of the pool. That will be a crack the champagne open evening, when I can do that. It may take me another 40+ years to get there, but I’m sticking with this.
So this is my magic moment, it’s something that most people take for granted. I wish I did! But one day, hopefully I will.