Being African American, and having come from a community that has a disproportionate number of drownings, I told myself that swimming was something I had to learn in order to live.
I learned from a kind man in Walnut Creek, CA. He taught me the basics of freestyle in one lesson, but I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing with each component. I've never had a fear of the water, only my comfort level was not high in that I couldn't swim outside of the shallow end.
Finally, went to another teacher and she specialized in teaching adult to overcome their fear of the water. When she saw I had no fear, she suggested TI. The rest is open water history :)
BTW, I was 43 when I learned how to do proper freestyle. Thanks Coach Dave and Coach Fiona!