Thursday, June 29, 2006


I've been teaching my daughter to swim this summer. She's six going on seven and only just learning. The older three kids were where she is at when they were four or five so she's a little behind but I've resisted pushing her until she felt she was ready. This summer she is ready. She's suddenly lost her fear of water and has turned into a fish. Literally overnight she started swimming underwater and jumping off the edge to me. While we were in Utah she was even jumping off the diving board into ten foot water where I would hold her so she could catch a breath and then she'd swim to the edge.

Needless to say, swimming is much more fun now for her and for me. It's also helping me because I'm less worried about her drowning now. That is always the focus of my teaching at the very beginning. I want to make sure that the child is confident that if they accidentally fall into deep water they can swim back to the edge without drowning. It is scary to me that people reach adulthood with such poor swimming skills that they could drown five feet from shore.

Last night I tried something new for myself. I've never swum for exercise, but my running pounds my body so I decided to swim a couple of times each week instead of running. Ack. It's hard! Our pool is about 25 meters long and I have a tough time swimming up and back without getting winded. So, I swam for about twenty minutes with short rests at each end and alternating strokes all the time. It was a good enough workout to keep my heart rate at about 150.

I've never had good shoulders and all my motorcycle crashes and collar bone breaks haven't made them any better. I'm hoping that the swimming will help with range of motion and strength. While swimming and can hear and feel them crackling and popping. They were both pretty sore last night after the swim. The swimming also seems to help loosen up my hip joints which get pretty tight from running. I'm tired this morning, but hopefully the swimming will get easier with practice and it will help complement my running while rehabilitating my messed up shoulders.


Sideon said...

When I first started swimming after a long long (decades long) break, I was sore for weeks.

My arms and shoulders weren't used to the movements. My hip/thigh abductors were screaming at me from not being used to kick and swim.

It sounds like you're easing into it. Best thing to do. Go slow. Build up your endurance... but have a good base. When you push a little too hard, take a few aspirin after your workout.

You sound like a fantastic father - teaching kids to swim is awesome. I taught my cousin how to swim when she was six. She's now in her 20's with 4 kids and she's been emailing me, asking when I'm coming to teach HER kids how to swim. :) I must've done an okay job.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

I hear swimming is a great exercise. Good luck... and I agree with Don that you are a fantastic father.

La said...

Um, what do I do if my 19 month old son flails about in the water like a wild person?

It literally takes the energy of 3 grown adults to keep up with him. Even in the shallow water he throws himself until he's under. Over and over and over again. I guess I should be grateful that he's not scared, but geez!

My 6 year old daughter is just now getting comfortable too, like yours. And she learned to ride her bike. I'm liking this phase.