Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trying to keep afloat

I wrapped up my second swimming lesson last night. And how is it going so far? Well, let me sum up.

1. I've clearly forgotten a lot since the last time I took swimming lessons 12 years ago, but not everything, which is somewhat reassuring.

2. I paid $50 for three months of lessons. I assumed that I would be in a small class for anywhere from 5-10 people. Nope, it's just me. There are two other people in the pool, but one just wants to practice and get some exercise and the other is Cathy, making sure I don't skip lessons.

So for $50, I get my own private tutor for about 10 or so hours. That strikes me as being a pretty sweet deal.

3. The instructor, for the record, is very nice and keeps saying encouraging things and is happy with my progress. So is Cathy. So am I, for that matter. I wasn't bad when I took lessons 12 years ago, I've just forgotten everything I learned because I didn't practice. It's coming back slowly. I did a backward crawl last night towards the end of the lesson that floored the instructor. I just have problems getting my face in the water.

4. Speaking of which, I snorted enough chlorinated water last night that my sinuses are still burning. And my eyes are still mildly bloodshot. So clearly nose plugs and a pair of goggles are in order.

5. Despite the progress it is clear that I do not possess natural buoyancy. Cathy does and is absolutely mystified at why I sink. Anytime I try to do a front crawl, it's like watching a deflating balloon - looks all right to start with, but then things start to sink pretty quickly.

But that's all right, I'm not too worried. I've only had two lessons. Can't expect miracles quite that quickly.

6. The other nice thing about the "private" lessons is that I can develop them to what I want. So, for example, I have no need or desire to learn how to do a butterfly stroke. What I need is to feel comfortable and not panicky in water that can go over my head, to be able to snorkel and to be able to swim a forward crawl.

I think I can do all of that by December. It's then just up to me to keep practicing with it from January until July so I don't get rusty again. But so far, so good.

Last Five
1. Frames - Ian Foster Band
2. 3 O'clock drunk - Sean Panting
3. 29 - Ryan Adams
4. Let's dance - David Bowie
5. Elegy for Elsabeth - The Weakerthans*


Brian said...

Went through he same agro when I was 7 or so.
The up side as I see your situation is. 1 you don’t have some 5 year old doing back flips and deep dives while you struggle with your phobias. 2 you won’t have the expense of buying weights if you decide to go scuba diving.
Goggles and ear plugs but not nose plugs, have to develope the correct breathing,surprised the instructor or some one did not advise before hand.

Anonymous said...

Hey I can't swim either but love the water as long as my head is above it. I was in swimming lessons during grade 3 but never got over the fear of water in my ears, eyes and nose. My 11 year old daughter however swims like a fish with no lessons at all. So I can say I am not braver than a 6th grader...LOL. I just hope someday if I ever fall or am pushed into water over my head that there will be someone there to save me.

Good luck

Melissa said...

50 is sooooo good for lessons!!

Where I work we pay about 200 Canadian a month for use of a gym + swimming pool. And it's not private so in Korea that means, you know, shared with 5698 other people. :)

Take care

N-I-N said...

I feel for you, Craig... I can get all the way across the pool now. ... Just... Once I stopped "panic stroking" I did much better!