Author Topic: How did you learn to swim?  (Read 13829 times)

novaboy

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #45 on: August 13, 2017, 03:44:45 PM »
I don't remember too much about learning to swim. Started as a toddler, and progressed through the Canadian Red Cross swim program. Swim team in high school, got my National Lifeguard certificate, worked pools mostly and beaches in the summer. Taught swimming lessons and lifeguard courses for 4 years. I got my PADI scuba ticket back in 1987, did a few dives but never continued. Always felt comfortable in open water.
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TallDude

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #46 on: August 13, 2017, 11:07:36 PM »
Here's a thought. I was talking to my daughter who is her girls high school swim team captain. She's also working on her girl scout Gold Award. I was telling her about some recent drownings because the people were adults that didn't know how to swim. Maybe for her Gold Award she could bring awareness to the real risks of not knowing how to swim. Part of it would be to create a nation wide program where Cities, Counties, YMCA's, Junior Colleges, even club swim teams could donate time to give adults who don't know how to swim. Maybe just a series of basic lessons on a side stoke, treading water and an intro to freestyle.
Maybe a 'Adults Swim for Life' or 'Everyone Should Swim' motto, or something like that. My daughter didn't seem that interested, and I think she felt like I was asking her to swim another mile:) Kids.
 
Anyway, I remember an older gentleman who would take private lessons at night with one of my kids swim coaches years ago. His lesson was after my sons. He was probably in his fifties at the time, and just learning how to float on his back, and do a sort of breast stroke. I thought, that has got to be kinda of embarrassing for most adults to be taking lessons with a bunch of Kindergarten age kids. At the same time, shows determination and the desire to probably over come a huge fear. Most of the adult swim programs are Masters swimming, Senior Aqua Therapy, Aqua Zoomba, etc and private lessons during the middle of the day. There are always private lessons if you know where to look. It would be great if everyone has the opportunity to learn what some of us have almost taken for granite.   



pdxmike

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #47 on: August 13, 2017, 11:50:34 PM »
Here's a thought. I was talking to my daughter who is her girls high school swim team captain. She's also working on her girl scout Gold Award. I was telling her about some recent drownings because the people were adults that didn't know how to swim. Maybe for her Gold Award she could bring awareness to the real risks of not knowing how to swim. Part of it would be to create a nation wide program where Cities, Counties, YMCA's, Junior Colleges, even club swim teams could donate time to give adults who don't know how to swim. Maybe just a series of basic lessons on a side stoke, treading water and an intro to freestyle.
Maybe a 'Adults Swim for Life' or 'Everyone Should Swim' motto, or something like that. My daughter didn't seem that interested, and I think she felt like I was asking her to swim another mile:) Kids.
 
Anyway, I remember an older gentleman who would take private lessons at night with one of my kids swim coaches years ago. His lesson was after my sons. He was probably in his fifties at the time, and just learning how to float on his back, and do a sort of breast stroke. I thought, that has got to be kinda of embarrassing for most adults to be taking lessons with a bunch of Kindergarten age kids. At the same time, shows determination and the desire to probably over come a huge fear. Most of the adult swim programs are Masters swimming, Senior Aqua Therapy, Aqua Zoomba, etc and private lessons during the middle of the day. There are always private lessons if you know where to look. It would be great if everyone has the opportunity to learn what some of us have almost taken for granite.
All perfectly said.  I might be remembering totally incorrectly, but I recall that UKRiverSurfers teaches swimming to adults, although I'm not sure that includes beginners.  It'd be interesting to hear from him.


Is there anything that combines more scary things to overcome than learning how to swim as an adult?  It combines a primal fear (fear of drowning), embarrassment (that you grew to adulthood without learning), more embarrassment (wearing a swimsuit), fear/embarrassment combo (fear of not being able to do it, and being humiliated while others are watching)...Plus I'd bet one reason some people didn't learn to swim is because they had negative experiences in their past (parents who feared water, knowing someone who drowned, etc.).

Plus there's nothing like swimming (except maybe bike riding?) for looking easy (and being easy) once you know how to do it, but being totally frustrating when you don't.  It's bad enough learning something that everyone views as difficult, or that lots of people learn as adults--quite another to learn something that looks so easy for everyone but you.  I remember starting masters workouts and being totally unable to do some of the basic drills at first, even though I was a good swimmer.  They became easy quickly, but I already had the experience of knowing they'd become easy.   I know a lot of triathletes who tried masters swimming and dropped it, out of frustration that despite their fitness, they couldn't come close to keeping up with 70-year old, 5' tall women swimmers, and progress came too slowly for them.  They switched to becoming great duathletes.  Point is they were embarrassed and frustrated in learning how to IMPROVE their swimming, and they already had the experience of and confidence from being good athletes.  Learning how to swim as an adult seems like it would be like that, magnified.  It takes guts to take up swimming once you're beyond childhood.

stoneaxe

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2017, 07:36:14 AM »
I'm very excited that my granddaughter is finally comfortable in the water. She seemed to have that primal fear in abundance for awhile, phobia level fear. Didn't want to put her head under water, afraid of being on her back, afraid to jump into the pool. Trying to explain away the fear and pushing her (figuratively not literally) didn't work. We took it very slowly and allowed her to find her own comfort level. I taught her diaphragmatic breathing and we practiced holding our breath outside the pool. Then showed her how long I could stay underwater while swimming for the torpedoes and rings she was tossing around. Sunday night she was diving into the pool and swimming across underwater doing the same. Then we played catch with the torpedoes underwater. All the things she was so afraid of she was doing easily.

When we got out she said she wanted me to start taking her paddleboarding more, that she wants to paddle flat water before I teach her to surf and that maybe she'll do the CCBC someday. Just like that all in one quick sentence...I was smiling so hard I thought my face would crack...... ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 07:54:22 AM by stoneaxe »
Bob

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Quickbeam

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2017, 09:43:54 AM »
Here's a thought. I was talking to my daughter who is her girls high school swim team captain. She's also working on her girl scout Gold Award. I was telling her about some recent drownings because the people were adults that didn't know how to swim. Maybe for her Gold Award she could bring awareness to the real risks of not knowing how to swim. Part of it would be to create a nation wide program where Cities, Counties, YMCA's, Junior Colleges, even club swim teams could donate time to give adults who don't know how to swim. Maybe just a series of basic lessons on a side stoke, treading water and an intro to freestyle.
Maybe a 'Adults Swim for Life' or 'Everyone Should Swim' motto, or something like that. My daughter didn't seem that interested, and I think she felt like I was asking her to swim another mile:) Kids.
 
Anyway, I remember an older gentleman who would take private lessons at night with one of my kids swim coaches years ago. His lesson was after my sons. He was probably in his fifties at the time, and just learning how to float on his back, and do a sort of breast stroke. I thought, that has got to be kinda of embarrassing for most adults to be taking lessons with a bunch of Kindergarten age kids. At the same time, shows determination and the desire to probably over come a huge fear. Most of the adult swim programs are Masters swimming, Senior Aqua Therapy, Aqua Zoomba, etc and private lessons during the middle of the day. There are always private lessons if you know where to look. It would be great if everyone has the opportunity to learn what some of us have almost taken for granite.
All perfectly said.  I might be remembering totally incorrectly, but I recall that UKRiverSurfers teaches swimming to adults, although I'm not sure that includes beginners.  It'd be interesting to hear from him.


Is there anything that combines more scary things to overcome than learning how to swim as an adult?  It combines a primal fear (fear of drowning), embarrassment (that you grew to adulthood without learning), more embarrassment (wearing a swimsuit), fear/embarrassment combo (fear of not being able to do it, and being humiliated while others are watching)...Plus I'd bet one reason some people didn't learn to swim is because they had negative experiences in their past (parents who feared water, knowing someone who drowned, etc.).

Plus there's nothing like swimming (except maybe bike riding?) for looking easy (and being easy) once you know how to do it, but being totally frustrating when you don't.  It's bad enough learning something that everyone views as difficult, or that lots of people learn as adults--quite another to learn something that looks so easy for everyone but you.  I remember starting masters workouts and being totally unable to do some of the basic drills at first, even though I was a good swimmer.  They became easy quickly, but I already had the experience of knowing they'd become easy.   I know a lot of triathletes who tried masters swimming and dropped it, out of frustration that despite their fitness, they couldn't come close to keeping up with 70-year old, 5' tall women swimmers, and progress came too slowly for them.  They switched to becoming great duathletes.  Point is they were embarrassed and frustrated in learning how to IMPROVE their swimming, and they already had the experience of and confidence from being good athletes.  Learning how to swim as an adult seems like it would be like that, magnified.  It takes guts to take up swimming once you're beyond childhood.


TallDude and pdxmike,

Absolutely agree with both of your comments. My wife grew up on the Prairies and as kids they just didn’t have the same kind of opportunities to swim that I did. On top of that, my wife’s Mom nearly drowned when she was a kid and was scared of the water, so to some extent she passed that on to her kids. Luckily, my wife is pretty adventurous and while not a great swimmer, is not afraid of the water. She can get around in the water and kayaks, paddle boards and snorkels without fear.

My wife’s sister though, does not know how to swim and is not comfortable in the water at all. She has taken swim lessons as an adult but they really didn’t seem to help her much. I’m not sure if the lessons she took were at an adult oriented class or not, but I think it’s a great idea.


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TallDude

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #50 on: August 14, 2017, 10:32:54 AM »
I'm very excited that my granddaughter is finally comfortable in the water. She seemed to have that primal fear in abundance for awhile, phobia level fear. Didn't want to put her head under water, afraid of being on her back, afraid to jump into the pool. Trying to explain away the fear and pushing her (figuratively not literally) didn't work. We took it very slowly and allowed her to find her own comfort level. I taught her diaphragmatic breathing and we practiced holding our breath outside the pool. Then showed her how long I could stay underwater while swimming for the torpedoes and rings she was tossing around. Sunday night she was diving into the pool and swimming across underwater doing the same. Then we played catch with the torpedoes underwater. All the things she was so afraid of she was doing easily.

When we got out she said she wanted me to start taking her paddleboarding more, that she wants to paddle flat water before I teach her to surf and that maybe she'll do the CCBC someday. Just like that all in one quick sentence...I was smiling so hard I thought my face would crack...... ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Precious moments Stoney. I remember watching a little girl maybe 5 yrs old trying out for the swim team my kids were on. She was 200% ready and super optimistic she could do the strokes. Her freestyle kicking frantically , arms windmilling, head snapping from side to side. She went all of about 5' with probably 30 strokes. She stops and turns to the coach, "I told you I know how to swim fast" :) Very cute.

Windwarrior

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2017, 08:41:35 PM »
I was 5 and I remember walking with mom and the stroller my bro was sitting in up the hill to Santa Monica College.

We were called a Pollywog since we were beginners. I progressed up to I think Dolphin and beyond that I  became a lifeguard for that pool for years. Loved it!!
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pdxmike

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2018, 11:43:34 AM »
Pono threw me off the dock at our cousins camp in NH...Camp Whatkeptya...when I was 3 years old. He got in trouble for it but it worked....I swam in and then never stopped.
That's similar to how I learned.  My dad would row me about 50 yards out into Puget Sound, then threw me in, and I swam to shore.  The next time we went out about 100 yards, and then a couple hundred.  I guess he figured I was good enough at that point.


I never had trouble with the swimming.  The hard part was getting out of the burlap bags and zip ties.

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2018, 01:50:45 PM »
Pono threw me off the dock at our cousins camp in NH...Camp Whatkeptya...when I was 3 years old. He got in trouble for it but it worked....I swam in and then never stopped.
That's similar to how I learned.  My dad would row me about 50 yards out into Puget Sound, then threw me in, and I swam to shore.  The next time we went out about 100 yards, and then a couple hundred.  I guess he figured I was good enough at that point.


I never had trouble with the swimming.  The hard part was getting out of the burlap bags and zip ties.
Especially if you're "taken for granite", that would make you sink like a rock.
Sorry TallDude, I couldn't resist.  ;)
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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2018, 09:20:43 PM »
Started out young taking swim lessons at a local pool. Joins my first swim team at age 9. Started year round competitive swimming at age 13, swam in high school and played water polo. Got a swimming and water polo scholarship to college. Played USA master water polo. Coached high school swim and water polo. Now I would rank myself in a pool a 6 because I am out of shape. I will never be a 10 again the bar is set way to high for me.

lpmaui

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2018, 09:55:01 PM »
My father thru me off some rocks and walked away.  I was 5, later become one of those lifeguards in OZ.  Learned to Surf and respect the Ocean in the late 50's still prone surf short boards today at 69..

stoneaxe

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #56 on: April 17, 2018, 12:13:53 PM »
I love reading this thread. The water has always been a special place for me...and all of you obviously. This has me thinking back to all the awesome times I've had in the water...some special memories.

I don't remember many things from so young but I can still remember the splash and gurgle and wildly flailing my way to shore 6ft away when Bill threw me in....maybe the trauma....he caused a lot of that.

Learning to bodysurf with my Uncle Al when I was 7 or so. All I wanted to do was play in the waves after that.

All the 100's of hours spent with my face in a mask. If there were no waves I wanted to be underwater. Spearfishing for eels while floating down the south river with my good friend Tom...seeing a shark underwater for the 1st time, also with Tom. I think we were 12 or so...spearfishing off Humarock beach. We were cruising along the bottom looking for rock bass when it came out on the other side of a clearing in the seaweed. The memory of its motion is imprinted forever. We freaked a bit but it was so cool...all we talked about for weeks... :)

1st time I kissed my then girlfriend, now wife of 36 years, was when we swam out to a raft together....moonlit night, swam under the raft and came up face to face underneath....now we're expecting our second grandchild... ;D

So may of the special memories I have with friends and family involve the water.....and I'm a city kid. I envy those of you that always lived so close to the water and are even more embedded in its culture.
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eastbound

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #57 on: April 19, 2018, 11:35:29 AM »
Started out young taking swim lessons at a local pool. Joins my first swim team at age 9. Started year round competitive swimming at age 13, swam in high school and played water polo. Got a swimming and water polo scholarship to college. Played USA master water polo. Coached high school swim and water polo. Now I would rank myself in a pool a 6 because I am out of shape. I will never be a 10 again the bar is set way to high for me.

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PonoBill

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #58 on: April 19, 2018, 05:50:19 PM »
All the 100's of hours spent with my face in a mask. If there were no waves I wanted to be underwater. Spearfishing for eels while floating down the south river with my good friend Tom...seeing a shark underwater for the 1st time, also with Tom. I think we were 12 or so...spearfishing off Humarock beach. We were cruising along the bottom looking for rock bass when it came out on the other side of a clearing in the seaweed. The memory of its motion is imprinted forever. We freaked a bit but it was so cool...all we talked about for weeks... :)

The shark story made me laugh. I don't remember if it was you or David that was spearfishing with me at Brant Rocks. The water was murky and as usual I was half frozen but had a few good fish. Then I saw something very big coming toward me. I made my way to the jetty somewhat briskly and was standing there watching Dave (or you) and wondering if I had been just seeing things when he stiffened and then streaked to the jetty like a torpedo. Okay, probably not seeing things.

Kind of the same thing happened on the Oregon Coast a many years later. I was surfing at Manzanita with my daughters Elizabeth and Cassie. A sea lion went rocketing past me followed by a good sized great white that hit the brakes like a cartoon fish to take a look at me. He turned away and cruised out. I looked around to see where the girls were and Cassie was standing on the beach jumping around and yelling. The shark had checked her out first. I sat up on my longboard to see Elvis who was further outside when she stiffened, spun on her board and went by me at mach 1 without a word, headed for the beach, leaving a rooster tail. I was laughing so hard I could barely paddle.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 06:01:09 PM by PonoBill »
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stoneaxe

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Re: How did you learn to swim?
« Reply #59 on: April 20, 2018, 06:21:28 AM »
Must have been Dave. Remember I was only 7 when you went into the Navy. We only spearfished a few times together when you came home.....you made me my 1st Hawaiian sling though. Dave used to bring me to Brant Rock after you were gone.....sweatshirts work just like wetsuits.....don't worry about everything turning blue. And he pulled the punch the gas while the little brother is bringing his milkshake to his mouth trick....told me you did it to him and he was just carrying on the tradition.... :)
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