Tonight was one of those mega nights – four hours in the pool, shadowing swim lessons. I’m in training. Preschool up through adult, I run the gamut in four hours. Tonight, the preschoolers were a bit out of sorts but there’s always a standout kid or two and that makes me happy. Isn’t it amazing how we don’t even think about kicking our feet, getting our faces wet, moving our arms to scoop through the water anymore? And how exciting it is to see kids learning it and getting it for the first time. It’s like unlocking a secret prize.
Some may think it’s just the kids that inspire that feeling, but the adults can do it, too. Tonight, there was a class of three adult women. They were still using their pool noodles to swim into the deep end. Up until tonight. We taught them how to do a kneeling dive. Well, the regular instructor I was shadowing taught them. I’d never done one before. None seemed all too confident, so I said I’d do it with them. I can do regular dives passably fine for everyday, but had never even heard of kneeling dives. So I got up there with them and did a kneeling dive. Aside from feeling far less graceful than a regular dive, it was okay.
By the end of the class, two out of three of them were doing kneeling dives like pros…AND surfaced into a swim, all the way to the shallow end…WITHOUT their pool noodles. I told them I’d swim next to them with the lifeguard tube the whole way, and I did. I was just so proud. I think the third lady will pick it up soon enough. She has trouble relaxing. Time and practice. I’ve been swimming since I was a year or two old. 35 years of experience in the water adds up when it comes to comfort and relaxing in the water. I feel at home when I get in a pool.
I seriously never gave much thought to teaching before I joined the Y last summer, and now, here I am teaching water fitness and swim lessons. I wasn’t the first, but I’m sure I won’t be the last to say: Life. It’s what happens when you’re making other plans.