Backstroke swimming week 4


Second week of swimming lessons completed and it was a tale of two halves on Friday night.  As I’ve mentioned before, I did have some lessons 20 years ago, before that I couldn’t even have a shower properly.  We had a different instructor, one who didn’t know me or my fears.  He was great, really supportive, no pressure, but actually I felt that I really wanted to try.

I’d been recommended to buy some goggles after my first lesson, I’d got a bargain pair in town in the week and was ready to go. I was ready for my swimming lesson.

SwimmingI hate getting water on my face, so goggles were a great help.  I didn’t have to worry about water getting near my eyes.  One less thing to worry about.

We started the lesson with woggles, last week was doggy paddle, this week we started with breast stroke.  I really got it, liked it, got my actions right.  Felt happy.  Me, happy in the water??  Who would have thought.

Now, for the funny part (well didn’t feel so funny at the time).  I have a bit of a hearing issue.  I’ve had all the tests, I’m just on the wrong side of the borderline for getting some sort of aid.  My friends are used to the fact I text, rather than call.  I struggle in crowded areas to hear people talking to me, conversations in a group can be interesting.  So, hold that thought.  I thought the instructor said, now we’ll try floats ok all, me – yes that’s fine.  What he actually said, now we’ll try with no floats (meaning the woggle was a float).  Oh god!  Do I try swimming on my own?  Surely I can’t do this.

The instructor could see I was a bit panicked, he said, no pressure.  If you like I’ll hold one of your hands, I’ll be there if you want to stop.  Ok, let’s do this.  We did it together.  Half length of the pool.  Right turn around.  Time to go back.  Same again?  No, I REALLY want to do this, I really want to try.  Will you be there in case it all goes horribly wrong?  Yes.  See the end of the pool?  Imagine that Monkey is sitting there, waiting for you.  You can do this, and I flipping well did.  I was swimming.  Of course, as soon as I actually thought about it, I stopped.  But it was a start, and I did it again and again.

I was swimming, I’d made a start.  Woppee! Then the instructor said we’d be going on our backs.  Oh god, no.  I don’t think I can do that, I’ve never been on my back in the water. I really don’t think I can do this, even with a woggle.  Don’t worry, I will be behind you.  So I did it, now it’s fair to say that my breathing was frantic, I was certainly on the edge of a panic attack.  I could feel myself going.  But the instructor was great, kept talking to me, breathe in, breathe out, slowly.  How was that?  Horrible!  Ok, I like someone who’s honest!  Don’t think panic, just think it’s ok, I can do this.  I did manage it, with no woggle, just the instructor holding my head.  I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed it.  I didn’t.  But I did manage to calm my breathing down, which was enough for one week.

An evening of highs and lows, swimming!  I treated myself to a glass of wine when I got home.  I have to say, that the first half-length back to the other end of the pool.  I was seeing Monkey there, waiting for me.  I had to stop myself bursting into tears when I got there.  It was quite overwhelming.  A high-five with my class mates was waiting.  It was a buzz.  Lesson 3 awaits, I wonder what I can achieve this week.

As this week’s theme for #TheGallery is Sport, I will be linking up there later this week too.


33 thoughts on “Swimming

  1. You should be so proud of yourself, you are doing fantastically! I cannot wait for the post where you announce you swam a length, on your back with no issues at all – It will happen!! x

  2. You are making good progress! Looks like you’ve found a good instructor too. I know, it’s not easy to swim without support when you’re still learning.

  3. I can’t believe that there’s someone out there who feels this overwhelmed with swimming! I can’t do it, despite my best efforts…I just reason that I’ll have to stay away from recreative pursuits that are water related because I lack this skill. It’s only now that my 7 year old goes swimming, I hope fears don’t pass on from parents to children.. the bravado or childhood seems to be winning right now 🙂 . Pleasure coming across your blog via #whatsthestory. xxx

  4. Well done you! Having the confidence to just go for it is half way to doing something I think. You’ll be swimming lengths in no time!

  5. Well done Mary! You are making such progress. I shall be back next week to see how lesson 3 goes, I’m rooting for you 🙂 #whatsthestory

  6. Mary this is AMAZING!! and you thought you would never do it and in 2 lessons you have come so so far!! well done honey xxx

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

  7. That is just so wonderful Mary! Having read your previous posts about your fear of water I am thrilled to read this post. Well done!

  8. Oh wow Mary that is absolutely brilliant. It’s only your second lesson too, amazing. You must be so so pleased – no wonder you treated yourself to wine! Very well deserved. You’ll be swimming with Monkey in the pool before you know it. How exciting is that. Wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing #whatsthestory

  9. Oh my goodness I can’t imagine having to learn to swim as an adult. You are so brave. I remember it being a struggle as a child, and watching my children go through the highs and lows has reminded me of the panic.
    I am majorly impressed – go you!

I'd love to hear from you and try to reply to all comments