Adult swim class at the Y

Today was my first day of swim class at our YMCA.

I can, in fact, sort of swim. And I FLOAT like a CHAMP. But I am afraid to put my face in the water.

My kids swim like fish. They have taken the nicknames Otter and Eel. They love the water, they are confident in it, they have Mad L33t Sk1llz. They find my trepidation sort of … befuddling.

So I signed up for and Adult Water Adjustment class. This is what we call “classes for adults who are afraid of water.” For various scheduling reasons I moved into a more typical adult swim class at 9:00. But there are only two of us in the class, so we each do our own thing.

The instructor is a young man. Very young. Like, twenty, maybe. I think he is unnerved by my deadpan sarcasm. When he asks “how was that?” and I reply “a miserable slog of panic” while smiling at him, he looks VERY confused. But he’s a good teacher.

I worked on bobs. Ducking my head into the water. After doing that for fifteen minutes on and off, I started trying rotary breathing — that’s what we call the breathing-to-the-side thing swimmers do when they front crawl. So there I am, hands on the wall, ready to put my face in the water and …. nothing happened.

Okay, Sigrid, just, take a deep breath and put your face in the water.


Okay, put your ear in the water. Great. Good job! Now, turn your head —


After about three minutes of just NOPE, I would do it for three or five breaths. Then come sputtering up and start over again. It’s funny how much I can be FULLY INTENDING to do a thing, and then that thing just … fails to occur. I don’t feel afraid. I just … didn’t do the thing.

Humans. We’re weird.

But, by the end of the class I had gotten the rotary breathing and the arm stroke coordinated enough that I could do TWO breaths across the pool without a kickboard before standing up, sputtering and wiping water from my face.

Any progress is progress, however incremental. I expect next week will be more of the same.


One Response

  1. That sounds so familiar. I had the same problem with getting my feet off the platform at flying trapeze last week. I was ready, I was willing (mostly), and…. Nope. Thus, this:

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