Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why Learn How To Swim?



Water has rules!

There are lots of reasons to learn to swim: fun, exercise, the experience of the liquid environment has a freedom and indeed a sort of sensuality of it’s own that only swimmers who have learned to respect the water can truly expect to know.

I have found that whilst it does not apply to all young people who don’t know how to swim, those who don’t know how to swim properly are always in amongst the biggest troublemakers at the pool and I believe that is because because they don’t truly know how to have fun in the water.

But the biggest reason of all for learning to swim is respect, respect of the water. An appreciation of such a respect of the water can have a profound effect on the respect you show to others and to the world that surrounds you.

As a swimming pool life guard and swimming instructor I see a lot of people who don’t know how to swim and because they don’t know how to swim they don’t understand the rules of the water.

I’ve taught adults whose fear of the water is so intense, that it is an amazing act of courage for them to even get into the water when they can easily stand on the bottom of the pool. Think of the expression "it put the fear of God into them" and realize that it doesn't apply here, as the kind of fear that I have just mentioned goes way beyond the kind of fear that God the farther ever intended for him.

I published some posts of one of my students who went on the journey learning to swim called Peter’s story and you can read his progression. Has Peter gotten rid of his fear of the water? No, he has learned to respect the water however.

If ever he chooses to ignore his fear of the water and therefore disrespect the rules of the swimming he will face the full wrath of the water and consequences of disobeying the rules. Loss of mobility, loss of limb, loss of clear thinking, even pain and suffering not to mention, loss of life are all consequences of disrespecting the water.

But Peter would only disrespect the water if he gave away his fear of it. Peter loves being in the water now I see him regularly at the pool having a great time.

Peter is always challenging himself too but when he does so he is never reckless about it because he always had someone watching (like me) in case he gets into trouble. He respects the water enough to keep a healthy fear of it.

Learning to swim is not only about learning to love the water but more importantly, it is  about learning to respect not just the water but a whole lot more and that the biggest reason to learn to swim.

Enjoy
   Richard

2 comments:

  1. Interesting theory, Richard!

    Always enjoy your posts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep your absolutely correct kiddie swimmer, I'm just not quite sure how your comment addresses the subject of "Why Lear To Swim"

    ReplyDelete

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