Health is wealth. This saying dates back to centuries and so does the skill of swimming. There are written references from history to the era of 2000 B.C., which suggest that swimming was known to mankind in that era. It is however our sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy food habits and stressful jobs that have made swimming all the very more relevant today. It is a very well-known fact that swimming is one of the best wholesome exercise and a key to fit and fabulous body.
My idea of swimming has always been a distressing and relaxing activity (Oh! not to forget the perfect “V shaped” body). It was with this idea that I enrolled for a 15 day learn to swim course.
THE FIRST FEW DAYS
I was excited to the core with the idea to be able to swim over water and that gave me a sleepless night before my first day of the training. Yes, I did turn to our great friend “Internet” for learn to swim tips a previous evening. There I came across this beautiful quote by Aleksandr Popov which goes by saying:
“The water is your friend. You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move”.
I must say that I was blessed to have great coach whose first lines to us were “90% of the swimming accidents happen with professional swimmers. In water, being complacent is the worst thing which you could do to yourself.”
For the first four days, we had to practice for legs movement and breathing. A round float was tied on our backs and with our hands holding the edge of the pool, we had to keep the body floating by moving our legs. In between, there were instructions to stop the legs movement and breathe in the air and breathe out in the water. We were told to keep our head inside water for as much time as we could.
WHEN WE WERE SET FREE
On the fifth day, with the round float still on our backs, we were told to leave the edge of the pool and let our body float on water. Yes it was indeed difficult but we had a round float to support us and all we had to do was set our body free (easier said than done). The same was closely monitored as there were chances of some of us panicking.
THE REAL SWIMMING
From the sixth day, we were given float pads, which we had to hold with our hands and float on water. We were told to move forward by moving our legs. It was now, when I started to get the “real feel” of swimming.
THE DAYS THAT FOLLOWED
In the following days, we were taught about the hand movement and were told to swim in the water, the round pads still on our backs. After couple of days, the minimal support we had in form of the round float was also removed and all we had to do was to just swim. The coaches gave us feedback and suggestions to improve our head and shoulders positioning and hands and legs movement.
The last day of the course was a test wherein we had to swim two rounds of our 25 meter pool. I did have my share of “pre-exam nervousness” but managed to pass the test comfortably.
The takeaway was a certificate, eligibility for pool and last but not the least a skill for lifetime as they say “swimming and cycling, once learned are learned for life.”