A Swimming Success

I taught swim lessons today for a program called Learn2Tri. It is a partnership between a local triathlon association (TriColumbia, in Howard County, MD) and our county school system. It is a program that teaches elementary through high school kids the three components of a triathlon: swimming, biking, and running. It is done as a unit during their PE classes, if the school wishes to take advantage of the opportunity. And while triathlons are competitions, the emphasis is on learning these basic skills for lifelong fitness. Today, I taught one high school freshman, who had never swam before. This young man started out telling me that he wasn't going to put his face in the water or go under water. The beauty of this opportunity for both of us was that I could meet him where he was and work with him from that point. And, he was able to gain comfort in the pool and swimming skills by the end of our 50 minute or so session. What we accomplished today was extraordinary but not unusual and is one of the top reasons I love this job. He not only put his face in the water, but he blew bubbles…repeatedly and excitedly. He pushed off the bottom of the pool and kicked and got to feel the excitement of what it is like to swim. He was a super star and deservedly very proud of himself. All of his peers experienced their own successes and were able to build new skills.There were a lot of smiles on the faces of this exhausted group when they were leaving. Many of the students are surprised at what hard work it is to learn to swim, and that seems to make their success in the pool feel all the more special. So, to some blowing bubbles may seem like no big deal, but we know that there was a lot of overcoming fear and building confidence to enable that feat to be accomplished. It's such a great feeling to help the kids do something they never thought they could do, and to pass along my love of the sport.

 

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