blowing bubbles

Blowing bubbles

We’ve been away and last week was all about trying to catch up with life, washing and so on.  The result was another week with very few personal posts, something I’m never happy about.  This week for What’s The Story? and Magic Moments I’m sharing a story of blowing bubbles.

Now, I’m sure that last sentence will have you all thinking of a post with Monkey and a bottle of bubble mixture.  Well, this post is actually all about me blowing bubbles.  As I’ve mentioned before I have a bit of an issue with water, but have decided that as Monkey is learning to swim I need to support him.  I need to deal with this phobia, I need to get my face wet (you have no idea how stressful that idea is to me).  I need to be able to swim.

Blowing bubblesI did have lessons 20 years ago, for a few months.  Before then I couldn’t even stand under a shower, I’ve mentioned that before.  I did actually get my 10 metre certificate, which I did in the kids pool in a nearby leisure centre.  I never put my face in the water, I never had lessons in a proper adult sized pool. My ex was good with me whenever we went on holiday, he’d help me into the pool and try to build my confidence.  But you could never really say I swam.

It’s never been that important to me, until now. I feel that I’m actually holding Monkey back now. I should be encouraging him, showing him what to do, I should be able to help him if he got into difficulties.  I can’t.

So, I booked myself to start swimming lessons, starting last Friday night.  Daddy P is staying at home long enough for me to have a lesson, before he scoots back to work.  By Friday, I was really quite stressed about my decision, and about what I was facing.  I was having lessons in the adult pool where we live.  This was serious.  One thing that helped, was knowing the instructor.  She’s lovely and has taught Monkey occasionally in the past.  She already knew that I had issues.

So Friday night came, I was early.  Even when I’m bricking it, I can’t be late!! I chatted to another lady who was on her third lesson ever.  She swam unaided on Friday night – it was amazing. Our instructor arrived, ‘hello Monkey’s Mum, how are you?’  Terrified, can’t you see me shaking?  I was laughing, but I was nervous to say the least.

Five of us got into the pool, all at slightly different stages.  I’d explained my history, ok we’ll start with a float but you need to blow bubbles and get your face in the water.  OK, now we have a big problem, my problem.  I can’t put my face in the water, I have never blown bubbles in the water, not ever in my life.  I’ve never been able to show Monkey how to blow bubbles in the water.  I’m shaking.  But I’m a stubborn old mule, I have a real purpose to this now, I want to be a good Mum, I want to swim with my son.  So for the first time in nearly 46 years I put part of my face (miracles don’t happen over night – full face,  uum, not that brave) in the water and I was blowing bubbles.  In fact I was blowing bubbles a lot during the hour’s lesson.

This may seem like nothing to you, something totally stupid, silly, yes probably a little pathetic.  But for me, this is like an arachnophob holding a Tarantula! I was blowing bubbles.  I drank a lot of water, it went up my nose, I got it in my eyes, not great with contacts in.  But I kept going.  I know this is a totally self-indulgent post, but this is my personal Everest.  I can’t be alone.

So how did the swimming go?  I went from a float to a woggle (they weren’t invented I think, the last time I tried swimming), then to float armbands – 3 per arm, 2 and down to 1.  Within that hour, I was swimming with aids for almost 10 metres in a proper, pucker, grown up swimming pool.  Then I’d think about it, stop breathing, and try my best to drown.  But I could see the improvement, the instructor was really pleased.  Blowing bubbles!  Who would have thought.

At the end of the lesson the instructor wanted me to swim to the side of the pool unaided.  Ok, back to bricking it. I did manage a glide to the side, she then wanted me to do the whole blowing bubbles, head up, blowing bubbles and swim to the side.  At that point my brain cut-off and I just could not do it.  But wow, I’d come a long way in an hour.

As the instructor said, I’m probably actually exactly where I ended the last time I tried lessons.  But then I’d never been blowing bubbles.  I’m really hoping I can sort my head out, stop thinking and just do, and then who knows?  Apparently I’ve got a good kick, long legs are good for something then! So I’m off to buy goggles when I take Monkey for his lesson this afternoon.  We’ll see what this week has in store.  One thing I know, is that I have to keep going, I have to keep trying, I want to swim with my son.

The most special thing that happened over the weekend?  Having breakfast with Monkey on Saturday morning and him asking me how my lesson went 🙂


36 thoughts on “Blowing bubbles

  1. That’s really brave! Well done you! All I hear at the kids’ swimming lessons is “remember to blow your bubbles!” lol.

  2. Such a great post!
    I had lessons at school, I say lessons loosely. The first lesson I got swept up in a crowd of children who knew how to swim and ended up clinging on to the side of the adult pool for dear life and spent every other lesson splashing around in the baby pool, glad that I wasn’t going to drown.
    Since then I haven’t learnt to swim, we didn’t holiday when I was growing up and I was never taken swimming. It wasn’t high on my parents list of priorities and we had no money growing up so they couldn’t afford it either.
    I’m now determined that the children will learn to swim, whilst they’re children, but I know that at some point I should really learn to swim too. I’ll look forward to reading future posts – if you do any – about this as it might encourage me to take that step to learn to swim properly x

    1. Thank you, all excited today as managed to purchase Slazenger goggles for the bargain price of £1.99!! I’m thinking of doing update posts, dependng on how badly I get on each week.

  3. Brilliant, well done you. My best friend growing up had a swimming pool and I’m so glad they did because I taught myself to swim in her pool. I don’t think I would be swimming today if I hadn’t had that opportunity as a child as my parents don’t swim.

  4. Very brave, well done and I’m sure in a few months you’ll be fine. I’m not brave enough to put my head in water these days even though I did as a child.

  5. Good luck with your lessons, I had a fear of water for so long I was determined the boy wouldn’t have the same. I would say mine is now more of a dislike, but I wont put my head or face in a swimming pool. I’m looking forward to trying to snorkel again later this year, I just hope I manage it so that my son will try too. Well done you 🙂

    1. That’s why I tried lessons before, we were going to the Maldives and I wanted to snorkel with my ex. I just couldn’t get the breathing right or then remember to swim! – too much to think about, like when you’re learning to drive a car.

  6. Oh my word, well done Mary that’s so brave of you. It must have felt amazing to have the progression and best of all be able to tell Monkey all about it the following day. So brilliant, you’ll be in that pool swimming together before you know it. Fabulous post, thank you so much for sharing #whatsthestory

  7. I’m really impressed Mary. Be proud! I’m a very weak swimmer and have often thought about taking lessons. You might inspire me. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey.

  8. Congratulations on getting so far in your first lesson! I’m a little afraid of going underwater myself, and hope to overcome this at some point.

  9. Lucas says – Well Done Monkey’s Mum. Monkey’s such a dude so you really need to keep on going as I bet he’ll be loads of fun in the water.
    Grace says – Keep on Going – you’ll love being able to swim with Monkey xx

  10. Well Done. The best thing I ever did was to learn how to swim. I have so much fun with Lucas in the pool now. Keep going – it’s so worth it #magicmoments #whatsthestory

  11. I don’t think anybody thinks you are “totally stupid” we are all in awe of your bravery, well done for making such amazing progress 🙂

  12. Wow Mary, that’s amazing! Congratulations, I hope you’re very proud of yourself and keep going 🙂

  13. Pingback: PODcast | What's The Story? | 24th March 2014
  14. What a huge achievement, so quickly, it’s so much harder to get over fears as a grown-up and getting in a pool of water is a huge one when so terrified – I’m proud for you! xx

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