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.
20 thoughts on “Swimming progress #MagicMoments”
WOW, well done you! You are doing so well! Just from reading this post I can see how much progress you have made. You are going each week – huge progress, you get into the water each week – even huger progress!!
In respect of the remembering, could you possibly make time to go swimming in between your lessons? Even if it is just for half an hour?
I have gone back to swimming, after a huge gap, and I am amazed at how much I have forgotten especially with breathing!
Keep going, and I am really looking forward to reading that you have done a length!
I wish I could, sadly I have no childcare any other evening, ans when Monkey has been at Nursery school the pool is closed for school swimming lessons. If I’m not working in September when he starts school I might have more options.
You’ll get there. You’ve a lot to get over, and it sounds like you’ve got a good instructor now who understands you, and looks for alternative ways to try things. (I can’t do crawl at all – used to all the time, but now I can’t do more than about 10 strokes, because I just swallow water and can’t get the hang of timing and breathing).
You are doing amazingly and one day I will follow your lead and learn to swim too – Not just yet though! x
Oh Donna do it while your two are still little, trust me it makes taking them to the pool so much easier to cope with x
It sounds like you are doing really well! You’ve come on so much. Well done!
Hello there, I really empathise with you on this. I had lessons a few years ago as kept panicking in the water, I even had hypnotherapy to stop it-it comes on so suddenly I once had to pretend that I had cramp when clinging to the side of a lane rather than just freaking out! I found that lessons really did help, not only helping me swim better but the confidence it gave me was probably more important to be honest. Hats off to you, it’s a really hard thing to do at times but you are doing an amazing job xxx #magicmoments
Thank you, I have considered hypnotherapy, still might try it!
You are doing great Mary and well done for sticking with it even through the tough times! You will be down at the deep end before you know it!
Thanks Tami – I hope so.
Well done! I am terrified of water and can just about cope with breast stroke in a quiet pool! This is a massive achievement and you can rightly be very proud.
Thank you – I’ve spotted you in a tiny little boat though – not something I could do easily!
Kudos for sticking to this! it’s a really difficult…and very brave…thing to do when you confront your fears, but it sounds like you’re doing really well! Excellent that your instructor has noticed an improvement too!
I dont know how to swim as well and well I dont know how to bike. When I see 3 year olds bike I drool. HE is doing my dream. A dream that I cant do cuz I am scared because I am too old to fail, to fall. I wanted to learn it. Planning on doing it at night but I really dont have money too to get a bike. So its always a dream that everyone who knows how to bike takes for granted =( #magicmoments
Yes, I haven’t been on a bike for nearly 40 years and never managed to be able to ride one handed whilst signalling. i’m dreading it when Monkey can actually ride his bike!
Mary this is utterly amazing i know just how terrified of swimming you were but to keep battling that fear week after week is amazing!
I am honoured you have linked this up with #MagicMoments x
Congratulations! I took my daughter to swim laps with me a couple of times this week. I was working with her on her breast stroke and remembered one of my first swim coaches telling me I had to get to “superman” during every stroke…arms and legs extended like Superman flying. Not sure if that image will help you, but I get to Superman under the water and a pull my arms down as my face emerges for a breath. It’s my resting stroke and makes doing laps possible for me. I’m pretty visual – maybe this will help if you are too. Keep up the great work!!!! BTW – my son’s biggest obstacle was back floating – he was terrified. Many people are – so you should be so very proud of yourself!