As much as I hate to admit it, I am stuck in the shallow end. That’s neither intended as a euphemism nor a a philosophical reflection. When I’m at a pool, I am quite literally stuck in the shallow end. I can’t swim.
Over the span of more than thirty years I’ve attended countless swim lessons. As a child my poor Mother signed me up for lessons almost every year. Though I’m not sure who was more traumatized by those experiences. Quite a few of those perennial summer lessons ended with the instructor politely returning my Mom’s check after the first lesson, with the suggestion that perhaps I wait and enroll the following year. I went from being one of the youngest aspiring swimmers as a grade schooler to one of the oldest by the time I reached junior high.
Sure, I understood what I was supposed to do in the water; but putting the arm strokes, kicks and breathing sequences together was a bridge too far. I could never get it all to work, and by high school I was through with the lessons. Until now, that is.
After searching for local swim classes for adults, I was excited to come across a free program offered by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. After securing a spot in their winter session via a lottery, I’ve made it a mission to finally overcome what has long been my greatest challenge. With four lessons remaining in the ten-week period, I am slowly but surely making headway.
I have yet to master the breathing technique, as I still all too frequently end up with a mouthful of water rather than air. I’ve come to realization that accomplishing this goal is going to take practice – outside of class – to eventually put it all together. At least, I hope that’s the case.
If my practice session at the recreation center on Tuesday evening is any indication, it could be awhile. But, I’m going to continue with it, in the hope that one of these days it just clicks.
Wishful thinking? Maybe, but I sure hope not! I’m ready to swim out of the shallow end and open a whole new realm of fitness possibilities. Wish me luck!