I had my first private swimming lesson last night. I had taken a group class in the spring, but I just didn’t feel like I got enough out of it. Mainly, I don’t know how to turn my head to breathe while doing freestyle. I either lift my head completely up – causing me to come almost to a complete stop – or I would turn my head but wind up with a mouthful of water.
|This is where I hope the magic will happen!|
I got to the pool for my lesson and the instructors were finishing up with the preschoolers. That was a bit humbling, but hey, I’ve got to learn from someone. And if they can keep the attention of four year olds and prevent them from drowning, then they should be able to teach me!
Samantha asked me a little about my swimming background and what I was looking for. Then she had me swim a few strokes. She told me a have pretty good from, long and straight. At least we aren’t starting from zero!
And then it was time to teach me how to breathe. She started to say something about how when she teaches the kids to swim, and then stopped like she didn’t want to insult me. I told her to go ahead and teach me like I’m four years old if that’s what’s going to make it easy for me to learn!
And that’s where I learned “bubble…bubble…breathe.” I want to be able to breathe on either side, so Samantha had me hang on the wall and do three strokes with my arms. On the first two strokes I’m blowing bubbles out. On the third stroke I turn my head and breathe. Sounds simple enough, right?
Wrong! For some reason, I would wind up almost flipping completely over onto my back when I would try to breathe. It turns out my problem is not just with my head, but also with my arms. So we made a few tweaks, and what do you know…I’m actually getting air!
We then moved this exercise from the wall to the kickboard. And eventually I ditched the kickboard and did my version of swimming. There is still much work to be done, but for a few brief moments I’d take a few strokes, turn my head, and get air instead of water…all while continuing to move forward. In those few moments, I felt like I was really swimming!