Sunday, 23 February 2014

Pinterest Picks #2

A slightly different approach to this Pinterst Picks edition.  This is a poster from 1940 announcing the New York Department of Parks are to be conducting swimming lessons.  How is this relevant you ask? Well, in short I can't swim.  Not even a little bit.  I'm one of those people who panics the minute their feet aren't firmly touching the bottom of the pool.  Like any child in primary school in the late 80s/early 90s, we had swimming lessons.  I still remember getting on the coach every Monday after morning break, and taking the short journey to the local baths where a lady called Ms Scott would conduct lessons.  I can remember holding onto a hoop that was attached to a big stick, kicking our legs as Ms Scott would 'pull' us along the width of the pool, one at a time.  While the rest of the class progressed quite well, earning their 10metres, 25 metres some even 50 or 100 metres, I lacked the confidence to even manage the first landmark.  With armbands I was fine, but take those off me and I'd panic and cling to the side of the pool, willing that hour lesson to be over.  It even got to the stage where I was allowed to go to lessons with the class below us; I simply had to at least get my 10 metres before I left primary school. And sure enough, on the very last lesson, I did it.  I swam 10 metres and got my certificate... sort of.  My foot actually touched the bottom about half way along.  I just carried on, hoping nobody noticed.  Whether they did or not, I'll never know.  I did feel a slight pang of guilt as I went up to get my certificate, but a large part of me was just relieved I'd never have to swim again.

Fast forward a couple of years, and my Grandmother decided I really should learn to swim, and booked me into some lessons after school, on a Tuesday evening.  I was 12 years old and by far the oldest one there.  I can still recall a kid of about 9 saying "you're 12 and you can't swim?!" and basically left me feeling so embarrassed.  I think I only went about 6 or 7 times and gave up.

It's only in the last few years that I've come to realise that I would actually like to learn to swim.  I've been on some great holidays in the last few years and not really been able to cool down in the hotel pool, or gone to Center Parcs and been too scared to go down any of the water slides, or stayed in a gorgeous hotel/spa with my boyfriend and spent most of the time in the jacuzzi or dangling my legs over the side of the pool.  Unfortunately, no longer having a pool in my home town, I could never really attend any adult lessons.  However, this spring sees the opening of a brand-new leisure literally a 10 minute walk from where I live and I'm determined to learn swim once and for all.  I'd already decided that 2014 is the year I get fitter, and in better shape, and with the opening of the new pool it just seems like the right time to learn. We all know swimming is a great form of exercise; it's low impact and you're working all your major muscles.  It also reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.  It's a great mood booster and can help with weight loss and toning up.

I'm currently in contact with the swimming lessons coordinator for the new pool and will hopefully be booking into some lessons when the centre opens in April.  I'm sure I'll be nervous when the time comes for my lessons and I really hope this doesn't get the better of me.  My goal is to be confident enough to be able to go swimming alone  a few times a week; the location is so handy, right near work so would be perfect for squeezing in a few lengths on my way home.  

Have you ever had swimming lessons as an adult?  I'm actually thinking about doing a series of blog posts, to keep track of my progress and maybe encourage other non-swimmers to take up lessons? What do you think?

Hopefully before long I'll be like this...

...and not like this!



  1. Oh I remember those swimming lessons, I was in the baby pool group, dreaded doing the life saving part in the big pool and to be honest didn't do much swimming after those lessons. I remember jumping into a swimming pool in France and having a moment of "oh my god I can't get myself to the top" which really put me off and I can't say I've been since. I should probably try doing it again, maybe. Good luck with learning though!

  2. Haha! Love the photos!! Well done you, go for it!! :D


© SARLAVIE. All rights reserved.