Helen, Give it a Go – Swimming
I’m always on the lookout for a bargain so when I saw the information about woMEn TIME, Get Back Into – Swimming sessions, it was too good to resist! I first sort-of learned to swim at secondary school, nearly 50 years ago then tried again when my children were small about 25 years ago, but never really gained enough confidence to go out of my depth, and didn’t keep it up. Still, I really wanted a way to keep fit in the winter (long walks in the cold and wet are not so great), so I signed up.
As you might imagine, I approached the first session with some trepidation. The first good thing was that we were in the learner pool, so there was no worry about going out of my depth (in fact, the opposite was true, because I discovered that my knees touched the bottom if I didn’t hold a good position in the water). Rosie, the teacher, was great! She treated us like adults, taking the time to explain the reason why something was best done in a certain way. She didn’t deny our fear (I wasn’t alone in being a bit fearful), but gently encouraged us to work through it and focus on the practicalities of learning the strokes.
The classes were very small – never more than six people at the ones I attended, and sometimes two teachers – so we received lots of attention and support. We were able to progress at our own pace, but were constantly encouraged gently towards the next step. We were all women, of course, but of greatly varied ages, and some were a little more confident than others.
By the end of the four week course, I think every one of us had managed to swim at least one length of the learner pool without flotation aids. Wow! We were so proud of ourselves … and for each other! We’ve been told that there might be a follow-on class later in the year, to help build on our new skills and slowly growing confidence, not quite so cheap but still subsidised, and I will certainly sign up for that if it’s a time I can make. If not, I’m determined to keep practising so that this is third time lucky, and I finally acquire enough skill to swim with my grandchildren – before they are too old to be happy to be seen swimming with their granny.