Sunday, May 13, 2018

Old dog, new trick. Part 1 - Sink or Swim

So, like I said in the previous post - I got sidetracked by life stuff and haven't written a regular blog post since AUGUST LAST YEAR.
I do apologise for the lack of posts, I have been on social media with regular photo posts,  but not a lot of words flowing around these parts. So I'm here now, and hopefully the next couple of posts will inspire some of you old dogs out there, to go and learn some new tricks yourself.
In late Winter last year, we started planning a family holiday to tropical Queensland. A week away with our 2 kidlets, in the warm sunshine, at the beach, in the pool. Fantastic.
It all sounded great in theory, and we had been there before, but the water activities always left me feeling a little left out. Because I couldn't really swim very well. To be honest, I was more of a sinker than a swimmer.
Something had to be done.

After watching my kids have their swimming lessons every week for years, I decided to take the plunge myself. See what I did there....? πŸ‘ˆπŸ˜†

I enrolled in Adult Beginner swimming lessons one cold Monday morning. My instructor was great; she was  used to dealing with nervous kids (and even more nervous adults) and immediately had me feeling calm and confident in the warm water. 
I decided to have a good go at it and enrolled in a second weekly lesson. I only had a few months to learn and I was determined to make the lessons worthwhile.

Having only 4 people in the class made it easier to get one-on-one attention, as well as time for a breather between each lap.
When I say lap, what I mean is a few floundering, flailing movements where water went in my eyes, my ears, my nose and my mouth and I came up for air coughing and spluttering.
If there was one of those rainfall gauges attached to me, it would have indicated about 800mm of water intake. I was rubbish at this swimming thing.

Then, one day, I floated. For the very first time in my life. And it was amazing. On my back. On my front. Flipping from back to front to back again. I could do it. I would lie there on my back, the warm water lapping at my toes, looking up at the ceiling and imagining gazing up at blue skies and palm fronds while my kids swam beside me.

Then, I sculled in the deeper end (not really deep - so not scary at all). Treading water was not as hard as I had imagined and the more I relaxed, the easier it was.

Backstroke and survival backstroke were my favourites. Gliding through the water, not having to worry about bubbles and breathing. 

Breast stroke was a bit harder. I'm a bit unco when it comes to following instructions to position myself in a certain way. Legs this way, arms that way, breathing - it was messy. I won't be winning any medals in that event.

Freestyle was another tricky one. That darn breathing thing gets in the way of having a good time in the pool. But I now know how to do it, even if it is a little clunky.

We went on holiday. I went in the deep end. I did laps of backstroke up and down. I swam underwater and snorkelled with my family. I gazed at palm fronds whilst floating on my back in the warm water.
It was amazing and I wish I had done it a long time ago. Thanks to the team at Healthways  for teaching this old dog a new trick.  You're never too old to learn to swim, so go look up your nearest swim centre.
learn to swim



What: Healthways Recreation Centre
Where: Mont Albert North and Ringwood
When: Daily
Why: learn to swim
How much: varies per term


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