Swimming and Me
My uncle taught me to swim, apparently.
However the family stories were all about how he hardly had to show me anything I was a natural and took to the water like a mermaid.
In the last year of primary school the class were taken to the pool each week for lessons. I knew the three main strokes and had quite a bit of stamina in the water too. The instructor put me in the advanced group where I started to train for life saving certificates.
This continued into secondary school and my best friend started attending a swimming club. I should have gone along too but disliked the rigorous routine she told me about – regarding training sessions and galas. But I still went to the local pool for fun and exercise now and then.
Many years passed by and I became pregnant with my first child. The books said to stay fit and exercise. It would help with the labour and also reduces the amount of weight put on during pregnancy. I was not likely to get too big but enjoyed being in the water and the way it supported my baby bump and made me feel as if I was flying.
I started gong every other day and the young life guard would nod to me each time I emerged from the changing room and watched me grow in size.
My due day came and went but I kept on Swimming. The day before I went into labour The nice young guard spoke to me for the first time.
“Hey, you are swimming great. When are you due.”
I told him,
The poor chap nearly fell from his look out post.
Darling Near Miss Swam
Darling Near Miss was born and from a young age I took her swimming but initially she would scream and scream. So I stopped. But knowing it was great for kids to swim I started taking her to the pool to watch others enjoying them selves in the water and gradually by the time she was four she wanted to try. I took her every week and we simply enjoyed having fun. Then when she was nearly six I signed her up at the local center and she joined in some ducking classes.
Her teacher was astounded at how quickly she picked up front crawl and advanced through the levels. I enjoyed watching her and seeing her progress but also the fun she was having. Proud of her new skills.
Then one day when she was seven we were swimming at the local pool and as we were about to leave got approached by this guy. He explained he ran the “starter level” at the swimming club and wanted my daughter to try out. She was eager so we went along.
He watched her stokes and timed her and came over to me all smiles. Would I agree to her joining the club? It would involve two sessions a week. And so the merry-go-round began.
You see the trouble was Darling Near Miss was rather good. She had the correct purchase on the water which meant when she swam she seemed to skim the surface. Advancing to the first competitive rung the new coach took me aside and said that from his experience he felt she could possibly go all the way. I wasn’t sure what it meant but boggled at the thought.
Next came galas. Darling Near Miss was only ten and already they wanted her to attend four times a week. I was keeping it down to three and making sure she had plenty of fun pool time too.
At the end of her first competitive year she had several medals plus the second fastest county times in two strokes. They selected her to swim for them, in her age group. Plus she was encouraged to attend a special workshop with other talented young swimmers from around the country. Two of which eventually swam for England.
Darling Near Miss did not.
End of the Pool
The club wanted her to start training at 5am! Neither my daughter or I was keen. We decided she would take a six month break from club swimming.
Thoughts on Swimming
In my opinion if the kids weren’t pushed so heavily from a young age there would not be such a drop of from this sport.
I always wondered if Darling Near Miss was so proficient at swimming because I had swam consistently with her in my tummy 😉
I still love to swim and used it as my chosen exercise to help recover from a knee injury.
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