I used to think swimming was one of the easiest things to do. I stared at people dive in and figured out, “this has got to be easy.” I was wrong.
My first time was in a river back at the village with my sister and cousins; Sometime last year when we had gone to the village to visit our grandma. Like always, we went to the river to get our clothes washed after which we’d hop into the water with our clothes on and pretend to swim.
Most of the time, we just held hands and went round in circles as most of us were afraid of diving just in case we did it wrong.
Country girls at the village. At the forefront is my sister Mercy. She got in to snap a selfie with us. The other 3 are cousins of mine.
The next time I went swimming, I tried to dive in though the shallow end for ‘security’ purposes and I almost drowned. I spent the whole afternoon treating the trauma from that experience by holding on to the metal bar at the edges of the pool.
I almost thought I’d never learn the art. It seemed like a forever journey, but I finally managed to float.
Me finally floating, right in-front of me is my friend Maureen, also hydrophobic and surprised at how fast I managed to float.
Here are a few things I learned not to do:
Don’t be nervous/ anxious: Forget about your phobia for water. The main rule for a good freestyle swim is to relax and trust the waters. This can help you practice how to float.
Avoid the deep end: Start your practice at the shallow end. The deep end is a no go zone till you have mastered your skill or have a swimming mate who will guide you along.
Do not hold your breath: Practice how to hold your breath, but don’t do it for long. Breathe out from time to time to help you relax and focus your concentration to moving your body forward.
Don’t do it alone: Get a coach or a swimming partner who’s good at it to help you out during your 1st time. They can help you get started and master a few techniques.