Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Paul doesn’t know how to swim. He wouldn’t immediately drown if he fell into the middle of a lake, but I don’t think he could swim or tread water for five continuous minutes.

So I brought him to my health club for his first swimming lesson. I am not a good instructor. He is an eager student, though. So many things that I don’t consider ‘swimming’ are foreign to him. He doesn’t know how to glide through the water for strokes such as the side stroke and breast stroke. Even pushing off of the wall to glide underwater for as long as possible, which is just goofing off and second nature for me, apparently requires skill to learn. He also seems hesitant to really stick his face in the water, which I think is one cause of his hips sinking and causing him to swim at a strong angle instead of horizontally.

His swimming is really clumsy and frantic – which leaves him panting after one swim to the end of the pool. Poor boy. Even though I am not a strong swimmer by any stretch, I feel ridiculously fast and graceful in the water compared to Paul.

I never realized how many small things I do intuitively that he will need to learn in order to swim with any degree of efficiency or confidence. As I explain some of the physics involved to make his stroke more aerodynamic and efficient, he very much understands, but it isn’t coming through in his actions yet. As long as he keeps his good attitude about learning, this will be a fun project. I’m sure in a lesson or two, he will be able flutter kick better than me.

I wonder if it is easier or harder to teach an adult to swim instead of a child.

After about an hour of swimming lesson, we went to use the showers, sauna and then rejoined for about a half an hour of stretching and yoga flows. I hope this becomes a regular ‘date’ for us.


At 8:53 AM, Blogger George said...

I took both our kids to our local high school pool for lessons when they were younger.

It was worth the time, now I don't have to worry about our kids falling into a pool or something and drowning.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger equipoise said...

Poor Paul. If he ever get's frustrated and needs encouragement, you can tell him the story about how your big brother was kicked out of swimming lessons in 1st grade. But eventually even HE learned how to swim (at least a little.)

I start swim lessons myself next week - myself and 4 others taking private lessons from a swim coach guru - we'll see how that goes!


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