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  #1  
Old 08-07-2011
michll michll is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
michll
Default Determined To Transform My Life By (Finally) Learning To Swim

Hello everyone!

My name is Michelle and I am a 23-year-old female who lives in Irving, Texas. I am a fan of Terry and Total Immersion(TI), and I have no idea how to swim.

But I want to learn very badly. And I want to do so the right way.

I grew up in a family of serious non-swimmers (culture is the excuse that has been used); the fear of swimming was set in me early on and has built over the years, but I've tried very hard on my own to break the trend several times.

I've taken up swimming lessons on multiple occasions to no success. Each experience has ended with more money lost and more confusion. I've always gone through highly-recommended programs but it seems the classes would end up with too many people and too little time. Those of us who were true beginners would be neglected. I have also had lifeguard friends who would regard me and say "swimming is easy, I can teach you". We would set up a time, but then plans would fall through.

I'm tired of spending time reading forum posts here or reading Terry's blog posts and NOT putting the information to practice.

I'm tired of being invited to hangouts and not being able to have fun because everyone is in the pool wondering why I am sitting on the side, dipping my toes in the water. Wondering why I "still" do not know how to swim.

I'm tired of feeling like I have to decline hangout offers and stay home to avoid the trouble.

I never want to be in this position again. I want to be confident and have a good time!

I was led to the concept of TI by way of Tim Ferriss' blog post. I believe I am in a good position right now because I have no learned habits. I am ready to conquer this challenge; I believe I can do it, but what I have been doing has obviously not been working so I'm trying this forum as a new and different first step.

SO in short, Terry and TI friends, what steps and advice would you give to a non-swimmer who is determined to learn how to swim and change her life by doing it?

If anyone has any words for me, please share them. I do not know where to begin and I need your help. I do not know how to find an instructor or group who is familiar with TI basics, and it is difficult to teach yourself to swim without drowning or learning improper technique (unless some of you think otherwise!!).

If you could also pose this question on your blogs or social media accounts, I would greatly appreciate it. I know I am not the only one out there terrified of swimming but motivated to change things. To see a community of experienced swimmers address the inexperienced and fearful would be very inspiring. You may not realize it, but swimming does not feel so natural and free to everyone.

It should.

This is an opportunity to spread hope to people like me. Please do so. I hope to hear from all of you soon and I thank you in advance for all you do.

-Michelle

"It was a life skill and a pleasure I needed to share with my future children. In other words: of all the potential skills you could learn, swimming was one of the most fundamental." - Tim Ferriss.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2011
borate borate is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 533
borate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michll View Post
You may not realize it, but swimming does not feel so natural and free to everyone.
Of course not! You are not alone.
As a non-swimming adult, I was becoming fearful of taking a shower. Enough was enough, and I enrolled in a Community College adults-only beginners program.
That was one of the best things I've ever done for myself, not only for social but for safety reasons as I live in an area surrounded by water.

TI didn't exist then. Balance - streamlining - propulsion: other disciplines teach these principles, but TI does it well with excellent and varied literature and tools.
At the outset, hands-on instruction is preferable to self-coaching for most folks. Check this out for a nearby coach. Post to the "Find a TI Training Buddy" forum.

Your determination will see you through, and you'll be forever thankful for the skill you acquire. Good luck! And keep the folks here posted.

Last edited by borate : 08-07-2011 at 06:12 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
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Hi Michelle

Your best prospect is with a teacher who is specialized in teaching non-swimmers, especially non-swimmers with fear of the water. However it is probably possible to teach yourself, if you have a good friend who will accompany you and not interfere.

The first thing you need to do is go to the shallow end and sit down or kneel down (kneeling is probably best). If the pool is shallow enough go down on all fours. Practice ducking until you mouth is just below the surface and just blow bubbles. When you are comfortable doing that practice submerging your entire face and opening your eyes ( wear goggles or a mask). See if you can get your legs to float behind you while holding on to the edge of the pool. Similarly with hands on the bottom and face in the water , and so on, unil you can practice a push-off and superman glide. Once you can do that you are virtually swimming.

TI sells a DVD for absolute beginners:

http://www.totalimmersion.net/store/...appy-laps.html

It would be best with a competent teacher, but I'm sure you can do it alone.
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2011
tab tab is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 171
tab
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Yup, slowly entice yourself to be able to get your head into the water.

O2 in H2O, A SELF-HELP COURSE ON BREATHING IN SWIMMING

Take your time with this stage, I think it is the most important, and will take time to develop, months if not years, depending on the person and time expended.
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 551
Mike from NS
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Hi Michelle,

I think you have found the best source for help and encouragement. As having been in "the place" you find yourself now, I'd like to point out a few things that have helped me along the way. Hopefully they will help you too. I only began at 53 so you have age very well planted on your side; and once you have the basics you will progress very quickly, I expect.

The advice that has helped me : bob, bob and bob some more -- slowly but surely this will get you used to having your head under water. If your flutter kick is troublesome - don't be terribly concerned as the 2 BK will become your "friend" eventually. Try getting used to floating on your back by resting your feet on a lane line, ladder or something at the water's surface and just lay back as relaxed as you can. Feel what happens when you roll sightly to one side or the other ; or drop on hand lower. Feel the reactions to your actions. Just don't fall asleep, as this can be very relaxing. As you do this, listen to the kicks of others or whatever sounds there are. Let your senses sturdy your surroundings. Most importantly - play with the water.

If taking lessons, talk to the instructors before signing up and be sure they have a course outline they will follow. My first set had no program to follow and was almost a waste of time and money. A second set of lessons had a well documented program. From this set I did learn some skills.

One last item for now - if you feel you need fins ... be careful not to become dependent upon them. This is one aspect of my "journey" that I'm fighting now.

Set attainable goals then try to surpass them each time swimming. Every day something new will happen - no matter how simple it may seem --- it is progress. Some days may be frustrating but eventually these days will be replaced by days that something works so well that you will be on cloud 9 and want to tell the world of the day's success. I think all here will agree that you have the determination to succeed.

Good luck, Mike
__________________
If you're not swimming; then you should be skiing......
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2011
RadSwim RadSwim is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 201
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Michelle-
You live in the right place. You have an excellent TI coach, Bob Wiskera, in Flower Mound. I have been working with him for 5 years. He is great! I recommend that you contact him.

http://www.totalimmersion.net/compon...file/CoachBobW

http://www.swimdallas.com/index.html

RadSwim in Houston
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2011
michll michll is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
michll
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Wow and whoa! I am blown away. What a great number of responses and informative and quick at that! I am going to heed everyone's advice right now and I will report back with any success I have. I feel less anxious about this new journey because of all of you. I know this time will be different. Thank you thank you thank you for taking the time to encourage and support me! *skips off smiling*
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