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  #1  
Old 08-17-2011
jpwkeeper jpwkeeper is offline
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Default How did you learn to swim?

I'm looking for stories on how some of you adult-onset swimmers learned how to swim. Specifically adults who were starting from scratch (unable to swim a pool length), bonus if you had young children and/or a busy schedule to work around. How did you find time to get to the pool? Did you take classes? Were there psychological obstacles?
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Old 08-17-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpwkeeper View Post
I'm looking for stories on how some of you adult-onset swimmers learned how to swim.
Quote:
How did you find time to get to the pool?
I made it (travel time three minutes).

Quote:
Did you take classes?
Community College beginner/adult (20 poor or non-swimmers).

Quote:
Were there psychological obstacles?
Fear of death.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2011
tab tab is offline
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Yup, sounds like how I got started.
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Old 08-17-2011
naj naj is offline
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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!

Naji
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Old 08-18-2011
daveblt daveblt is offline
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As a kid I was just an okay swimmer if that .In my teens I did overcome some fears of the water and improved a quite a bit . Then I believe it was at the end of 1995 or beginning of 1996 I picked up the Total Immersion book and never looked back. So I've been practicing TI technique for the past 16 years and every time I hit the pool I try to swim better than I ever have. I try to get to the pool about 3 times a week . I went to a TI workshop here in Baltimore in 1997 .

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 08-18-2011 at 01:17 AM.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2011
tab tab is offline
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Children, I watch my daughter swim for a few years before the rest of the family got up the nerve to take lesson with her swim coach. So, now I can swim when she swims. I took up swimming as a fill in to my daily work. It is nearly the only time I spend doing something just for myself, a new hobby of sorts and a challenge. I made the time, as well. Have your kids take lessons and join a swim club, as an excuse for you to go the pool.

psychological obstacles? Every time I get in the water open or pool, getting better, though. Cold water and weeds are still a hurdle. Breast stroke is my starter stroke, from it I am taking on the other three.

Just a little more to my short post earlier today.
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Old 08-18-2011
AWP AWP is offline
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At age 40 in search of a fitness regimen (bike rider for years prior), wife, two kids and a new house, I was nudged by a summer intern to try the pool. After much prodding was handed a book and told of a unique 'system' taught by a man who lived in 'my back yard'. Book, website, video clips, book, website, video clips, BINGO!
How? with a family, a job with insane hours and a new home?
I got up at the butt crack of dawn, the only feasible time, every day and sometimes weekends, sometimes twice a day if I could swing a lunch hour, anything to engage myself in what I knew was going to be a big part of keeping my life cohesive and happy. And yes in the dead of winter too, when the morning was night and the air was frigid! I was completely hooked!
I just turned 46 this summer and can't imagine looking back, only forward.
As the children age and work and 'home life' becomes more 'challenging', it does get harder. No more so than this year for me, after a wonderful season of practice last year and being stoked for some challenges this year, found myself squandering for time to practice, not only @ the pool but in the open water, what I came to enjoy most in the last two years. Not to mention support! Support from family and like minded friends.
How to reconcile? Your mindset, it's not a short term deal, a fad, just a means to stay fit, it's a practice. A practice for a life time that embraced as such will undoubtedly bring one satisfaction not only in their swimming but in their overall perspective of life.
Sound hoaky? Give it a try, a real "college try" and see!

Much luck,
Alan

P.S. Self taught all the way, a testament to the process.
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Old 08-23-2011
michll michll is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
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!

Naji
Awesome, Naji! I like the message of your blog; I have added it to my Google Reader. One day I hope to be at your level! Thanks to jpwkeeper for the question and all of you for the stories. Encouraging to someone like me still in the beginning stages. :D
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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My reply is very much like Borate's -- in many ways.

I started from scratch 5 years ago (at 53) with zero swim ability ~~ unable to "swim" any distance at all. (With snorkel and mask, as long as I could reach bottom, I could "play" in the salt water at a beach.)

I decided to take lessons after a near drowning experience ...long story... and therefore made time to join a 20 person rec dept evening class for beginner adults. Nothing but frustration came from that; the following year I took another set of adult beginner lessons; but these were at a University pool and proved a bit better; the following year another set of lessons at the university pool with limited but positive results. In the years since I have followed the TI instructions via video and DVD ~ going the self taught route. The five year period has been filled with assistance from people on these forums. Were there psychological obstacles? Of course there were and Borate put it succinctly: "Fear of death". But I found fins !!! and pressed onward. The downside was that a dependency on the fins developed. Only in the past week or two have I finally been able to swim 25M without fins. And do so on a regular basis now. Still, I need to improve balance and cure breathing issues, but there is no turning back now. So, how have I learned to swim? Slowly !! And now I'm ready to continue a learning process with more confidence.
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If you're not swimming; then you should be skiing......

Last edited by Mike from NS : 08-18-2011 at 05:57 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2011
jpwkeeper jpwkeeper is offline
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These stories are all excellent!

I'm personally struggling to find pool time. Part of it is life and kids, but there's another factor that I'm trying to identify. It's a psychological block of some sort, but it's not fear of the water or fear of drowning. I love going to the pool, love being in and under the water, I even used to scuba dive (found a loophole in the swimming test to get my cert). If I were to get dumped into deep water 100 yards from safety, there is no doubt in my mind I'd make it there just fine. It's something else, and I was kind of hoping one of your stories would resonate with me.

The day I posted this request, I had planned on going to the pool early to get some time to work my TI drills (I'm on lesson 2 from the DVD). I couldn't do it, and had no external reason why. It ate me up all day, but yet in the evening I took my kids to the local pool without hesitation. I tried to work the drills then, but with a 3 and 7 year old to worry about, it's pretty hard (plus I was a little agitated, so the things I did do went badly).

Thanks for the stories, though. If I can get one good practice session alone maybe I'll see that whatever this block happens to be is something silly (knowing that intellectually is different than knowing it at a deeper level).
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