Really great meeting you....it was so inspiring to see so many talented professionals who continue to reach out to the community to make a difference. The energy in the room was amazing and your contributions so appreciated. Thank you. Arthur
It was great meeting you and learning from your wealth of knowledge and experience about promoting good causes by creating relationships with the media. Your example of courage and determination to enter the ranks of black folks who swim, is inspirational and proof that the benefits of learning to swim and becoming aquatic competent, can be gained at any point in ones life. Thank you for using yourself as a public example to help others know that they can learn to swim as well.
Have not heard from you in a while. Sorry we missed you at Lake Rawlings. We are doing a special activity at Lake Rawlings the weekend of Oct. 23-25, 2009. Divers Unlimited International (DUI) sponsors the world's largest demo of drysuit diving at various venues around the country, and we are one spoke in the wheel. It is called DUI D.O.G. Dive Rally & Demo Days. Lynnhaven Dive Center is one of the major dive shops hooked up with this activity. As I recall, it has never been reported on TV at any time, so this may be an opportunity for you to get a "fun" scoop about inland scuba diving in a rural setting. We expect about 200-300 divers to participate this year, and they will come ffrom all over the mid-Atlantic area. I will organize this as an event on DAP's site soon. Take care, talk to you soon.
OK, I am at Lake Rawlings most weekends. Our BOD is meeting on Saturday, June 27, 2009 @ 10:00 a.m. My entire family will also be there. If you want to see what we are all about, circle your calendar and come on down. Diving is on the house if you are certified by then.
I re-read with greater interest about your posting John Cruzat's comments and Wanda Butts, story about their experiences why on Black folks do not swim. John was on point when he mentioned that this phenomena results from Blacks simply not knowing how to swim, and not the result of negative stereotypes still believed by White folks and Black folks alike. I personally believe that the number of Black folks who cannot swim is unbelievably high, perhaps higher than the 58% mentioned in Cruzat's comment. When I taught swimming at Hampton University, I noted that less than 18% of the student body participated in swimming class, and of this number, more than half took beginner swimming classes. Does this mean that the other 82% could swim, maybe could swim, or maybe could not swim at all? I believe true statistics to measure who can swim among Black folks do not really exist, yet. I did my part when I was at HU, and yet, when reflecting on the reality of the situation, I realize that I barely made a dent to reach a larger audience.
I developed and named a stroke when I taught at HU. I named the stroke the Wing-It Stroke. It really is a basic swimming maneuver, but there is much to learn about breath control, control of buoyancy and control of the horizontal position BEFORE teaching this stroke. I would like to introduce these techniques to you sometime, before I write my basic swimming book on the Wing-It stroke. The technique works, and is easily mastered by non-swimmers and swimmers alike. I taught many non-swimmers to swim, and when I retired from HU in June of 2003, my department chair remarked that I had reached over 8,000 students in my 21+ years at HU. I did not know such a statistic existed, but I was pleased none-the-less that enough care and appreciation of my contribution to swimming was noted. Knowing how to swim is empowering, and it is that substance which I believe is lacking in the Black experience as it relates to swimming.
Stay in touch. As you can see, I, too, was inspired by John Cruzat and Wanda Butts.
My apologies for not responding to your last question with my goal in the 200 yard swim. My only goal was just to complete the swim within the specified time of 3:50, which amazingly, I did. In my older age, it did allow me to realize that this sport will sustain me in the years to come, as I approach my elderly years. I know you have been keeping busy!!!!!
Today, while visiting the Swimmers' Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale, FL,
I noticed with delight that you are now posted in the museum and on the
Website as a celebrity Swimmer with distinction. How wonderful! I am very
proud to have made your acquaintance and to be a "Friend." I also informed
Bruce that you are in the process of becoming a Certified SCUBA Diver.
Thanks again for your support of the Josh Project and April Pools Day. With you as a role model, area residents both young and old have someone to whom they can relate. And by publicly chronicling your courage to tackle your fear of the water you have provided a major source of inspiration to our community. Over the course of my 2 years with the Josh Project, I have seen so many young, nervous faces walk through the doors of NSU. By the time they leave, they have a new found confidence in the water. Regardless of age, when you learn to swim, you learn to fly. Thank you for providing one more voice that says "yes, you can!"
I hope you continue to enjoy your new relationship with swimming; I still think a triathlon may be in your future!
Wow - Regina I had never read your post from 2008. Thank you so very much!! You have been my inspiration since I met you last year at the April Pools Day at Norfolk. You are still my inspiration....to the point that this year I WILL begin taking swimming lessons!!! I believe with GOD ALL things are possible -- (because I am afraid of the water) You are my She-roe - and it is my priviledge and pleasure to know you..........peace and love - Josh's mom.....wanda jean butts ps. next I want to scuba dive too!