Post # 1
I’m actually really, really embarrassed to say this… but I’m 23 and I can’t swim. I’m the only person in my little circle of family and friends who can’t swim. My parents had signed me up for swimming when I was 6 or 7, but I kept failing the first level and then I got discouraged and lost interest. I took music lessons instead from that point forward. Now I believe I am hydrophobic. I honestly can’t go more than waist deep in water or I get freaked out and really anxious, and I get out of the water pretty quickly.
But now I think it’s time to grow up, grow a spine, and learn how to swim like everyone else. It would only be in indoor pools as we don’t have beaches here (I’ve only seen a beach once in my life, woah). There are people around me who are willing to teach me the basics of swimming – my 15 y/o brother, my dad, FH. I know they’re not going to let me drown or anything, but that’s exactly what I’m afraid of. I don’t know how to get over that before I start learning.
I’m also just really tired of being looked at weird and/or mocked and embarrassed by people when they learn I can’t swim. I get things like “Doesn’t everybody learn to swim when they are a kid?” Stuff like that. I missed out on tons of pool parties with my friends because I was too embarrassed to go.
Since I’m assuming most of you can swim a bit, how do I get comfortable in water? Will my fear of water disappear? How do I make it fun to learn to swim? Should I find adult lessons or start out learning from someone that I know (like FH for example)?
Post # 3
@musical-lady: Oh gosh – don’t worry about that at all! You shouldn’t feel ashamed 🙂
So what if you didn’t learn to swim when you were a kid? You were just doing other things that you preferred.
If you’re comfortable learning from your fella, that sounds like a fun outing 🙂 A lot of lap pools (with lanes set up) are a consistent depth throughout, so you don’t have to worry about feeling like it’s too deep. I’ve seen adults wearing arm floaties before, and thought nothing of it 🙂 Just have fun with it!
Post # 4
@musical-lady: I swear we are the same person. I never learned how to swim and I’m semi-terrified of open water. I won’t go in the ocean/bay/any large body of water. I won’t go in the pool higher than my natural waist.
What makes me a little more comfortable, and this probably makes me sound like a crazy person, is wearing a life jacket. Our summer vacation this year was to my FI’s families lake house and I wouldn’t get in the water without it. (I also sat on a noodle).
Could you maybe try that? My FI swears he is going to teach me to swim next summer. We shall see.
Post # 5
I should tell you that last year FH did teach me how to float and propel myself by kicking and I got really good at that. So I think that I’m on the right path towards actual swimming. I just don’t like floating on my back and I won’t go beyond the middle section of the pool because I like knowing that my feet will still touch the bottom. I think this is just a mental hangup that I can’t get past!
I will also mention that I’m good at boating/sailing, and I’d like to be able to sail on my own, especially a motorized vessel. Knowing how to swim is a huge step towards getting a license! So there’s that.
@ANGELaaimt: Like I said here, FH has showed me basic moves. But I’ve been too hesitant to move beyond that. In my gut I know he’s not going to let me drown or anything but my head is saying there’s a possibility (that’s so terrible, I know). I could definitely learn from FH and plus he looks good in swimming attire, haha.
Arm floaties, huh! I’ve never heard that term before – are they like the little inflatable rings that go on the upper arm? We call those water wings here. I usually see children and babies using them but I’m not afraid to use them if I have to!
@arsing89: I’m cool with life jackets, PFD’s (there’s a difference), water wings, noodles, tubes, all that stuff because of my boating and canoeing background. I’m glad there’s someone else kind of like me out there!
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
I wouldn’t worry too much, sounds like you’re on the right track. I’m almost 30 and I don’t really know how to swim. I can keep myself afloat and probably swim well enough if I needed to but I’m not great and never took lessons.
I just don’t like swimming, I don’t like being in the water, I don’t like pools, etc…not a fan. I haven’t really been in a pool or lake in 5 years or more. I did buy a new swimming suit this past year because I thought we’d be going with friends to a water park but then I ended up having to attend a wedding that same day and it never happened. I’m not even afraid of it I just don’t care for it. FI swam competitively for years as did his sister, he says one day he will teach me.
Post # 7
@musical-lady: I’ve taught people older than you to swim! It is nothing at all to be embarrassed about. You seem to have no fear of water and that is the most important thing. If a person is afraid of water it’s very hard to teach them how to swim.
Practice putting your head under water for starters and learn to breathe out through your nose into water. You can try in the bathtub if you have one or a shallow pool. If you have a pool simple stand in the water to your waist and hold onto the edge of the pool. Then take a deep breath and hold it. Lower yourself down into the water and put your face in. Breathe out through your nose and when you’re out of air come out of the water. Practice turning your head from side to side doing that. That’s the very first step to learning how to swim – learning how to breathe in the water.
Then, hold onto the side of the shallow pool and kick your legs behind you. Kick for all you’re worth for as long as you can. Second step.
Third step, still in the shallow end – stand and do the “crawl” motion in the water, scooping the water with your hands (you may want to YouTube the American Crawl) and twisting side to side slightly. The final thing is learning to put all this together – arms, kicking legs and breathing in while face out of water and out through your nose while face is in water, turning head side to side. It’s not that hard, really.
Floating is important, too. You can practice floating on your back which is usually easier than floating any other way. Good luck with this. I wish I was there to teach you, I love teaching people to swim one-on-one. 🙂
Post # 8
I forgot to mention for step one – bend at the waist and put your face in the water.
Also forgot to mention – do all the steps separately at first. You want to be comfortable and feel safe in the water before you move to the next thing. Your body will “memorize” what you do repetitively, if that makes sense. In other words, don’t overthink it. Just realize that all the steps are easy to do and very doable. Once you feel comfortable doing one thing move onto the next.
Post # 9
@Ms_Purple: Yeah, I can keep myself afloat and kick around the pool, but I can’t tread water or anything like that.
@Sunfire: Thank you for your advice! If we were closer we could work out some lessons, haha 🙂 I definitely understand the “taking one step at a time” approach. It’s the same approach I take with my flute students, most of whom are children, and it always works. Setting smaller goals is less daunting, for sure.
Post # 10
@musical-lady: Yes, exactly the way you teach a child. I always teach people the same way regardless of their age. Kids are easier, though, lol, as long as they don’t have a fear of water. They’re lighter (easier to hold in the water) and more likely to follow instructions exactly without argument. 🙂
You seem to be doing great with it as I read over your updates, sounds like you just need more practice. You do know how to swim, though, at least on a beginner level.
Post # 11
I didn’t learn to swim until I was 13 (which was unheard of to the people around me. Every kid I knew could swim). Now I’m probably the best swimmer of anyone I know. Its never too late and nothing to be embarassed about.
Post # 12
@musical-lady: My mom didn’t learn how to swim until she was 40, so you’ve got plenty of time. I think one thing that helped her get over her fear of the deep end was learning how to tread water.