September 25, 2023

Learn to Swim.

One of the most important skills you can teach your children and even yourself, is how to swim.

A person of any age and ability can learn how to swim. It’s not something that people are born “good at” or “not good at.”

Are you an adult who still does not know how to swim? Can you only half-swim, IE do a feeble doggy paddle?

Here’s the thing with swimming. You either know how to swim, or you don’t.

A person can be a weak swimmer but essentially this boils down to that they can’t really swim.

This is important because you could find yourself in a situation where you need to swim in order to survive.

You also might one day be required to help another person in the water. If you can’t swim or can only muster that weak doggy paddle, this is not going to be possible.

I am a person who learned to swim as an adult. 

Yes, it is possible. I did it.

Did I pay for swimming lessons? No.

Should you get swimming lessons if you are an adult who still does not know how to swim? Absolutely.

If you or your children know how to swim, maybe you could learn to surf next!

Who knows where this could take you.

I learned to swim at 33 years old. Prior to that, I would have classified myself as “sort of knowing how to swim” because I was that feeble doggy paddler.

I’m really not sure why my parents did not invest in swim lessons for me.

My dad taught me the basics which got me started at age 10. 

For many years I was that swimmer who would venture into the deep end and quickly swim to the other side because they don’t know how to float.

This type of half swimming person exerts all of their energy trying to stay above water. It’s something. But it’s not quite swimming mastery.

Let me tell you how life is for people who never learn completely how to swim.

Kids who don’t know how to swim feel embarrassed and self-conscious at every pool party, swim club invitation, and water play-themed event.

People who swim weakly or who can’t swim at all, don’t have much fun at the beach.

Kids who don’t know how to swim worry about it. 

They might worry when there is a trip to the lake or boating excursion planned.

Sure, they have a life jacket on. But what if something scary happens and they aren’t able to swim to safety, even with the life jacket?

Not knowing how to swim detracts from your enjoyment. You have to always watch out that someone might dunk you in the pool. 

You must tell people that you’re not a strong swimmer, and then they ask you questions.

“Why? Your parents didn’t get you swim lessons?” 

It’s slightly mortifying when you’re young. When you’re older, you must make sure that other adults know that you are not capable of minding the safety of their kids in a pool or lake.

What if you fall into the water? What if someone pushes you into the deep end thinking you can swim? 

This is always on the mind of the non-swimmer, especially as you age and everyone just assumes that you have water skills and will be able to save yourself and others.

What is the method for getting an adult person over the hump of not being able to swim?

The non-swimmer must learn the doggy paddle as mentioned, if they have not yet.

They must learn to control their breathing and hold their breath underwater.

Next, they must learn to float on their back. 

Knowing how to float means that you can flip over onto your back and take a big breath whenever you need to.

After that, they should get good at treading water. 

When I was young and people said that it’s just like riding a bicycle, I thought they were being figurative.

Turns out that you are literally making a bicycling motion with your legs while gently moving your arms back and forth.

What’s the most important thing to know about swimming? It’s that as long as your lungs are full, you can float.

Here’s an awesome video to teach you how to swim.

How does an adult person get better at swimming?

I will tell you my story. I learned to finally fully swim and be comfortable in the water at age 33.

Wow, you say! What finally got you to the swimming side?

I had a very supportive and calm person in my life at the time. He was willing to stay close by and let me teach myself how to float and tread water.

In what turns out to be a metaphor for life, learning to swim requires that you find a relaxed individual to stick by you and let you figure things out for yourself.

It should be a person whom you trust will jump in and rescue you if you need that.

The person who teaches you how to swim should be steady and patient.

The person who teaches you how to swim should describe and illustrate the techniques, and then gently guide you  while you try them out.

The person who teaches you how to swim should provide ample opportunity for you to practice and grow strong.

You are never too old, and it is never too late to learn how to swim!

My son’s grandmother took swimming lessons at age 71. Imagine that!

If she can do it, you can do it.

If your kids aren’t yet comfortable and skilled in the water, it’s a great idea to be proactive and get them some swimming lessons now. You will never regret this.

How much are swimming lessons?

Anywhere from $20 to $40 for a half an hour. It’s worth it.

If you think you can’t afford swimming lessons, five of them will run you about $150.

Put them in the budget by trimming away some other expense temporarily.

Once a person gets really good at swimming, they will then become comfortable in the water. 

When that happens, treading water no longer seems like work. You can float like a fish, and even do yoga in the water!

Being great at swimming means being able to fully relax in the water and there’s nothing better than this.

My favorite kind of swimming? Always lake swimming. A beautiful, body of clean fresh water to dunk and float and frolic and be a fish for a bit.

Swimming at the beach is invigorating. You can play a dare game with the mighty ocean. But you must be a strong swimmer. Those giant waves can engulf you and sweep you away.

People who surf the beach waves are the coolest, most badass people I know.

They know something about life and their own capabilities, that we don’t.

Think about it.

I’m so happy that someone took a little time to stay by my side while I taught myself to swim as a grown adult.

It has absolutely changed my life, and it can change yours, too.

Will you learn to swim?

Will you teach your children to swim?

Do it! You will love it.