As an adult conquering my fear of water, I often feel like "the forgotten swimmer" in spite of a cacophony of local and national learn-to-swim campaigns. It seems that these programs are more interested in swimmers learning strokes than understanding why some adults are afraid or do not feel safe. However, an encouraging development in aquatics education has been a subtle re-evaluation of traditional swimming instruction and teacher training by some prominent folks in the aquatics community, on behalf of adults like me. Miracle Swimming is one such teaching method that is holistic and innovative in this regard, with lessons that were created 30 years ago to specifically address the challenges and experiences of adults with a fear of water.
Before learning any swimming strokes, students learn first how to be comfortable in water--which is the key to being safe in water and preventing drownings. This is the place where I learned how water "works", in a small class with other adults. Although I had taken swimming lessons as a child and in college, I never had anyone discuss how water works before. You may be reading this and thinking that it sounds absurd for someone not to know, but there's a lot of basic information that is covered in this course, that isn't brought up in traditional classes. This kind of information about water helped me and my fellow classmates overcome our fear. Our instructor made me feel safe, unashamed, and confident to continue learning, at my own pace---and not exactly on her timetable.
Did you learn how to swim as an adult? Or, do you know or taught someone else that did? What was it like for you or them? Are you or are they still swimming? If yes, what keeps you or them motivated to keep swimming? If not, what are some ways the DAP community can encourage you or them to return to swimming?
To learn more about Miracle Swimming, a unique approach to swimming lessons where no swimmers-to-be are forgotten, please check my profile on DAP, and the link below. The link below also features information about upcoming plans to bring this life-saving teaching to more adult non-swimmers and their loved ones, worldwide.
Thanks for reading.