I’m Learning to Swim…Kind of.

by agirlandhermutt on May 28, 2014

Well friends, I took my first swimming class last night. AND I DIDN’T DROWN!

This might be slightly boring to some of you, but if you have ever struggled with swimming or enjoy making fun of those who do, this post is for you. 😉

Also, if you don’t appreciate self-depreciating humor, I’m not your girl.

Let’s back up a little and talk about why I decided to take a swimming class. When I decided to do a triathlon I KNEW that I was going to have to follow a training plan. I am not a natural athlete and not inherently good at biking or running. I figured swimming I could do with a little practice because in general, I’ve always been a good swimmer.

On my first week of training I went to the pool and nervously hopped into my lane to swim 25 minutes worth of laps. I took off to the other side of the pool and about half-way through I realized…I don’t really know how to swim!

I went home and after a brief (is an hour brief?) crying spell, I found a swimming class online and signed up.

Tuesdays & Thursdays for 5 weeks. 10 classes total. If someone can’t teach me how to breathe properly and get from one side of the pool to the other in less than 5 minutes, then I am hopeless.

Last night was my first class.

Did I mention my class is called “Beginner Swimming”? Oh yea. There was a class called “Stroke Improvement”, but I figured how could I improve on no stroke and signed up for the beginner class.

At 6p I shuffled down to the recreation pool and joined 7 other adults who looked like they were about to faint. I knew I was in the right spot. Our instructors showed up a few minutes later and told us to hop in the pool.

Great. I can do that.

Unfortunately a few of my classmates could not and one woman thought she was drowning until she realized she could just stand up. That was a rough start. Our first test was to kick across the pool using a board.

Perfect. I can do that.

I held onto the board and kicked across the pool. I got there and realized I was on my own. At first I was afraid that I had done something wrong and that I wasn’t really supposed to swim all the way across the pool. Then two women popped up next to me. We were officially the advanced beginner group from that point on.

We were split into two different groups. Those who could not swim AT ALL and those of us who needed some assistance. We definitely got some dirty looks from the non-swimmers in the class.

The next step was to kick using the board, with our face in the water and breathe to the side.

Uh. I can NOT do that.

It went downhill from there for all 3 of us. We looked like 3 fish just flopping around out there. I probably swallowed about 2 gallons of pool water over the course of the class. Which really disgusts me if I think about it too often because I know I saw some kid hack something gross into the water halfway through class.

After almost hyperventilating mid-pool because I apparently have no idea how to actually breathe like a normal person, I looked up at the clock to see how far we had gone over time for the class. I had been in the pool for what seemed like hours. It was 6:30. 6 FREAKING 30! I was exhausted.

My instructor, who could not be a day over 20, could see my frustration and started to tell me a story. A girl who would cry in class because she was scared to put her face in the water. She would cry and refuse. But then one day they were having so much fun in the water that she just…did it. She put her face in the water! Her fear washed away and she learned to enjoy swimming.

As the other two girls had tears in their inspired eyes, I asked him as he looked around triumphantly at us, “how old was this girl?” He sheepishly replied, “6 or 7”.


Despite that little setback, we kept on. We pushed, kicked and attempted to breathe for 30 more minutes. Any source of pride of being an “advanced beginner” was completely gone. My legs were tired. My chest hurt. My arms were sore. My neck hurt from turning to far up. My head still looked dumb in my swimming cap. I could feel a headache coming on from holding my breathe too long.

BUT! I was done. I had survived my first class.

I would love to give you some type of motivational quote about never giving up and just pushing forward, but I have nothing for you today. I’m just happy to have survived. Sometimes just getting through it is enough for me.

Till next swimming class…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie May 29, 2014 at 10:10 am

Congrats on surviving. I had to laugh a bit while reading this – great recap! Sorry to laugh at your expense 🙂


agirlandhermutt May 30, 2014 at 9:28 am

A good chuckle is good for everyone. Glad you enjoyed!


Kristina May 29, 2014 at 10:52 am

I am having a hard time breathing JUST READING THIS.

or maybe from laughing.

not a good swimmer, me.


agirlandhermutt May 30, 2014 at 9:28 am

Not so hot swimmers FTW! 🙂


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: