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How did you learn to swim?

     
9:38 pm on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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My grandpa taught me. He'd take me down to the local lake and just throw me in.

The only hard part of learning to swim was getting out of the burlap sack the first few times.
9:51 pm on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Too bad he forgot to add bricks... ;)
10:37 pm on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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>>How did you learn to swim?

I haven't; I can't, I always got out of it, though I do like a hot-tub & sauna!

Cheers,
MRb
11:44 pm on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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When I was 9 or 10 we had a small pleasure boat for cruising the river.

After I fell into said river a couple of times I went to the local swimming pool and taught myself to swim (crawl style, I never mastered breast stroke)

Gosh, where have the decades gone ;o)
12:00 am on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I took swimming lessons. My Mom took me. I think I was 7 or 8. It was at a local swimming pool.

I barely remember this but I do recall being scared.

I also recall the moment when I could keep my head above water in the deep end without anybody holding me. It was a shot of self confidence like you wouldn't believe. I was just dog paddling but it was an empowering feeling. I ain't gonna sink. Now I'm starting to like this. It got me hooked on water and I'm still hooked.
4:40 am on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I almost drowned once.

We had horses. Sometimes as many a dozen. Molly was my favorite. A buckskin mare. I rode her all the time and often without a saddle.

She had her nuances though. If she wanted you off, she'd try to rub you up against a fence. Try to peel you off. If you gave her her head she'd try to turn around and go back to the barn, especially when it was hot out.

But I loved riding her. She was a good horse.

This is about swimming, I'm getting to it.

This was before I knew how to swim. I was riding horses when I was very young. We had 3 big ponds on grandpas property. I couldn't even pick up the saddle but I could get reins on her. Then I'd put her in a cattle chute and climb up the wood frame to get on her. It worked. Now I'm riding.

I had a Daisy BB gun and grandpa had drilled some holes in it and attached a strap so I could sling it over my shoulder. And I would. Then I'd get on my horse and go looking for bad guys. Or whatever. If you crossed my path I might shoot you. It's a BB gun, okay? And I'm a 7 year old kid. That's what 7 year old kids do.

It's a hot day and we've been all over the 600 acres he owns. Molly's getting tired and she's thirsty too. It's time to head back. We get near a pond and she went right in. As in got out in the water. She wasn't just wanting a drink. She was wanting a bath to cool down. And a drink.

She'd done this on me before but grandpa had usually put a saddle on for me. It's a lot easier to stay on a horse if you've got a saddle.

I'm riding bareback and I slipped off. She's taller than me and her head was still above water. Mine wasn't. I kept ahold of the reins though. It's lucky I did. I used the reins to pull myself back to her and then just hugged her neck until she decided to move back into shallower water.

This is about swimming but I didn't know how to swim then...
6:21 pm on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I distinctly remember my swim teacher attempting to pry me from the pool ladder when I was about 5. It was traumatic. At some point after that, my Mom (who worked as a swim instructor for years) taught me the basics. In Alaska, you have to pass a swimming test before you can graduate High School, so I could swim, but was never particularly comfortable in the water. Now, I live most of the year in Hawaii and Love to get in the ocean.

Of course, I'm far more buoyant now that I was back then...
6:33 pm on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I spent my younger years living on a very large river. Summers were basically take a towel down to the beach and spend the day there, day after day. Never took a swimming lesson, I can swim just fine.

Crazy to think about, 4 kids all under the age of 10 spending the day at the beach with no supervision, day in and day out. I don't think anything was thought about it at the time. Today my wife would freak out about the idea, and my kids are teens.
7:30 pm on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In Alaska, you have to pass a swimming test before you can graduate High School,


That is a really good rule.

I took lots of swimming lessons as a kid. Loved swimming as a kid, in the summer if I was not in somebodies backyard pool we would go to a public pool. The pubic pool was a great place to be, lots of friends hanging out.

Then when winter came I would spend all my time at hockey rinks.
8:18 pm on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I am taking lessons right now and I'm in my thirties. It's much more difficult to learn how to swim when you are an adult. I watch the kids at the pool - they learn in a matter of days. I'm making some progress, the big problem being that I panic so easily. I love water though so I'm hopeful:)
11:33 pm on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I can't remember even not being able to swim. I grew up around water and was always comfortable in it.

Side note: I have an 18-month old son and the wife and I are considering swim lessons for him this summer. Lots of people freak out about this at his age, saying if we make him too comfortable around water he's more likely to go in by himself and drown. Seeing as he already loves water and tried to stick his head under in the bathtub, I'd feel better if he could swim out on his own in a pinch.
11:58 pm on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@vivalasvegas

It's much more difficult to learn how to swim when you are an adult


Just keep everything moving. Your arms, your legs, everything. Downward motion.

You'll get it.
12:10 am on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I had a few lessons at summer camp which didn't teach me much, but I finally learned to swim properly when I was in my forties. I had an excellent coach at the YMCA and while he was good with the technical side of things, his greatest gift to me was encouragement to persevere.
8:03 am on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I had a few lessons at summer camp which didn't teach me much, but I finally learned to swim properly when I was in my forties. I had an excellent coach at the YMCA and while he was good with the technical side of things, his greatest gift to me was encouragement to persevere.


I too tried to learn before and I agree that the coach is very important. He doesn't just have to know how to swim himself, he must be able to teach others, be a good psychologist. For example the one teaching me now always has me ending my lesson on a high note. Also, he knows how to explain things and how to encourage me.

@vivalasvegas

It's much more difficult to learn how to swim when you are an adult


Just keep everything moving. Your arms, your legs, everything. Downward motion.

You'll get it.


I think coordination is the most difficult part - coordinating the arm/leg movements + breathing.
1:31 pm on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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When I was a kid I learnt how to swim by starting off using a mask and snorkel in the shallows. It gives you a lot of confidence because you can just float there face down without sinking.

My theory on swimming is that there are two types of people in the world. Type one who like to stick their head in the water find swimming easy, type 2 who panic when the water goes over their nose for a few seconds and don't like to get their hair wet are mostly non swimmers.

The mask and snorkel starting point is great for the type2s because they can build confidence without effort and once they realise that floating is actually easier than sinking swimming is just a small matter of kicking your legs and thrashing your arms about.
3:35 pm on Mar 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think coordination is the most difficult part - coordinating the arm/leg movements + breathing.


Yep, coordination is what it takes.

Its funny, because I learned so early in life I dont even think about what I do to swim. Much like riding a bike, once you learn it everything just happens without even thinking about it.

But, good for you for learning as an adult!