I learned to swim when I was about 4 or 5 years old. The memory is burned into my memory like a branding stick to a steer. It was at Thiel College’s indoor pool and I was there with my aunt. They told me to jump into the water and she would catch me. She didn’t. I went under. Obviously I came up.
I think I still hold a wee bit of resentment towards that class and teacher for not catching me to this day. Not because I swallowed a couple gulps of chlorine water, but because they all betrayed my trust on something that was scary to me as a child. At 34, I still remember. I guess I am lucky it didn’t scar me enough to scare me away from water from good.
My dad doesn’t know how to swim. Still.
So swimming has ALWAYS been a huge concern of mine when it comes to Maximo – how young do you start? I am timid to do it correctly – will he like it? Will he be scared like me? We did attempt a swimming class back when he was six months old. He loved it. He went under. AT SIX MONTHS.
Learning to Enjoy the #FunnestSport
I’ve always loved swimming – growing up at a lake and having a pond on the farm made swimming second nature. But after my traumatic experience, I want to make sure Maximo will love the water as much as I do. I want him to think of it as fun, and not a life saving skill.
Through SwimToday, pools and swim teams nationwide are inviting new swimmers and families to experience the sport with incentives such as free swim team trial periods, customized swim caps and promotional materials from kits sent to 1,500 swim teams to use locally.
Why You Should Try Swimming This Summer
Thanks to SwimToday, Maximo is enrolled to take swimming lessons over the summer. I’ve excited to get him in the water and learn how to love it (and swim on his own!) and here are 10 reasons why you should be to:
1. It’s closer than you think – 62 percent of families live within 10 minutes of a pool; 52 percent of households with combined income of $50,000 or less report they have access to a pool nearby.
2. Everyone participates – Swimming is inclusive, there are no benchwarmers (nor benches).
3. Swimming is a team sport – Only 16 percent of non-swimming parents view swimming as a team sport but parents of swimmers associate the sport with teamwork more than any other sport.
4. Suit up and go – Only a swimsuit, cap and goggles are necessary to get started
5. Life skills – Swimming increases self-confidence, self-esteem, time management, goal-setting and social development
6. Easy to learn – 76 percent of parents said the ease of learning to swim was high
7. Low risk of injury – No contact makes for a safer environment.
8. Swimming = total body fitness – Burn 650 calories in an hour – more than walking, biking or team sports.
9. Sport for life – Once you learn to swim, you can enjoy no matter your age
10. Swimming is FUN – Parents confirm that swimming is the #FunnestSport
Meet Dara Torres
“Being a part of a swim team is one of the most fun and most rewarding experiences a child can have. I’ve benefitted from the sport’s values in every aspect of my life and that’s why my nine-year old daughter is a swimmer. It’s also why I’m so passionate to share with other parents and invite them to understand what the sport has to offer. Once they know, more parents will have swimming at the top of their lists.” – Dara Torres, a five-time Olympic swimmer-turned-swim-mom
I loved having the opportunity to chat with Dara (can’t you tell! We were too busy laughing to pose for a photo) not just as a swimmer, but as a fellow mom. She’s hilarious – and made understanding water safety and swimming as a concerned mom not so scary. The best way to be a mom is to just dive right in – literally! Just make sure it’s deep enough first.
Be sure to follow along as we chronicle our journey of swimming lessons with SwimToday over the summer of 2015!