Just keep swimming!
Being one of 6 kids meant that a family swim was something of a rarity. Trying to bundle all 8 of us into the car and then finding somewhere that didn’t cost the earth was always going to be a challenge – thankfully adult:child ratios hadn’t been dreamt up then! Swimming was left for special occasions and the long summer holiday.
Every year we would head to Europe camping for 2 or 3 weeks, looking every bit like the Von Trapps, and we would swim…all day, every day, in hot sunshine and clean swimming pools. I learnt to dive whilst in Germany although never braved the high boards and enjoyed the treat of pommes frites mit mayo in a cone most lunchtimes.
The reality though is that I couldn’t swim very well. 2 weeks every summer wasn’t really enough to improve my strokes. It was to my parents huge amazement that I ended up working as a lifeguard for a health club company (where I remain 15 years later, not lifeguarding), and my even bigger surprise when I managed to pass the swimming tests in the lifeguard exam! I dreaded the monthly training sessions and even more the biannual exam!
J loves swimming and we have resolved to make it a bigger part of his life than it was in mine as a child. He attends lessons every week and although he hasn’t learnt to do any more than bob up and down with armbands on and jump in, he loves being in the water and it holds no fear for him. I think that water confidence is one of the most important skills you can teach a child.
I am very lucky to work somewhere that has a pool that we can use. If you are not as fortunate then check out the great offer that British Gas has on – free swims for you and your family!
I am entering this into the Brit Mums Joy of Swimming linky.