May 30, 2013

Final Swimming Lesson: Treading and Diving in Deep Waters

Swimming-Gina
Source


In my last lesson (Day 6), we learned to do the backstroke, or in my case, something that resembles that lol! Day 7 and 8 were uneventful, meaning they were just practice sessions of the 3 basic swimming strokes we have learned on previous days.  So I'll just skip over those two days and head to Day 9 which is pretty interesting.  For those who are still afraid of swimming,  I think you can expect your heart to go thumping.  Me?  I was so used to being afraid that it didn't matter anymore.  Either that or my heart has stopped beating that is why I don't feel the thumping anymore.  As always, just following instructions.
Just a short background on the pool.  The shallow end where I am often found, ranges from 3 feet to 5 feet.  The other end is a little over 6 feet and it is where the diving board is.  The middle part is around 9 feet.  That  knowledge made me very wary of going to the middle of the pool where I could easily just disappear from the face of the earth if I go missing and unnoticed for a minute or so.  And I never, ever go floating with my body parallel to the length of the pool or I will be sucked into the deepest part.  

Anyway, getting on with the lessons, our instructor called all of us and told us to go to the diving end.  Of course, as we're all not used to treading or floating vertically in the water, we were all clutching the gutter as we weave our way to that end.  We were on a line and I was supposed to be the last one to do the drill.  Here's what we had to do:
  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Let go of the gutter and plunge, simultaneously raising arms straight up.
  3. Once the head is in the water, breathe out slowly.
Simple right?  Except that the water is more than 6 feet deep and I am just 5 feet 3 inches.  If I sink, there's no way out, or so I thought.  Ma'am Bel assured us that we will float back up no matter what happens and with that, she told the first one to go and try it out.  Everyone is having the jitters this time, and not just me.  After a while, the first one still wouldn't go and try, and the one next to her says she's having leg cramps already.  In short, nobody was willing to try it first, and so I volunteered.  You read that right, I raised my hand to call attention and told Ma'am Bel I'll try it out.  Must be temporary insanity or I just didn't want to let this drag on.  After making sure she won't let me drown (to which she just laughed), I took two deep breaths (just to make sure), let go of the gutter while holding up my arms and as I was sinking, thankfully I remembered the exhalation part.  Just before my feet touched the floor, I felt my body rising again.  I would have done a somersault if I knew how.  Whoee!  The others were braver to try it out after seeing that I can do it.  As they were doing their turn, I did it a couple more times.  

The next part is staying afloat in water or what is called treading.  Hand movements is very much like the breaststroke while the legs you have to first bend like a sumo wrestler then kick sideways.  Hand and leg movements are done simultaneously, with the main objective of remaining in vertical position and the chin, or at least the mouth is above the waterline.

For some reasons, I knew, without doing it yet that I would sink.  And I was right.  It's either I am not kicking strong enough or my body is still tensed.  Inside the water, the more tensed you are, the more you sink.  Ma'am Bel was already prodding with her long pole, expecting me to grab it since I was not floating still, after a time.  I didn't grab it because I was trying to float, determined to learn this treading once and for all.  I heard her tell me to grab hold of the pole and come out, so I did.  Did she panic?  Lol! I tried several times but to no avail.  Am not giving up though.  If not that day, then some other time, but I will do it no matter what.

Now, here comes the nerve-wrecking part. She knows some of us cannot do the treading yet.  But she doesn't seem to see that as an excuse for what we're about to do next. She called us one by one to walk the wooden plank and dive feet first, float up and do the treading.  If we still can't tread and remain afloat, she will pull us out with the pole.  

I think I saw several knees shaking, mine included.  There were 5 of us that time, and only 3 managed to jump in.  The other one was still having "leg cramps" and the other one backed away after shreiking several times lol!  When it was my turn, it was probably the only time I suddenly had a fear of heights.  It took me a while but I knew I had to do it right then or I will never have the nerve to do it ever.  Taking a deep breath,  I jumped, feet first, all the while telling myself that it was insane.  The extra height from the jump sped up my downward motion and I felt my feet touch the floor gently.  Great!  I took the opportunity to kick and propel myself upward and try to do the treading.  Still sinking hehehe so I had to grab the pole to let myself be pulled to the safety of the gutter.  

Almost did it!  I still had to learn water treading before I do another diving attempt.  All I could say is "Wow!"  It was really an exhilarating experience.  Never mind that I still sink.  I'll learn to float vertically someday.  And when I do, I can already do laps along the length of the pool.  It's going to take some time for me, but I'll get there through constant practice.

Oh, and remember that classmate who had leg cramps?  What she told me warms my heart.  She said that she admires my courage, particularly with the dive.  That made me smile.  If only she knew all the crazy things going on in my head as I was walking that plank and when I actually jumped in.  But at least I tried, and that's what matters.  

From now, it will be just constant practice and mastery of the basics.  When I am really confident with the basic skills, I think my next step would be to enroll in the advance swimming lessons.  After that, who knows?  I think I am inclined to teach if I have that opportunity.  

In this series:



55 comments:

  1. Hope that you be able to move to the advance class soon. Now that you have started swimming I'm sure you be a confident swimmer in no time.

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  2. I loved your learning to swim series. I can never imagine myself jumping down the diving board, no ho ho!

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  3. My daughter once said that conquering one's fears means facing it. And you are doing good at it A.


    I hope that one day I could do the same thing too.

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  4. I would like to learn that treading thing too! I always panic when my feet cannot touch flat ground. Galing sis

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  5. Dnt forget to put on sunblock!

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  6. agad-agad natapos na!
    congrats for graduating the basic swimming lessons; i can see that you are confident...
    just always practice the skill...

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  7. Yay for you Ailene! Congratulations! Ako nga, kahit na i consider myself a good swimmer, I have never tried jumping off a diving plank. You're so brave to have done it. :) Pwede na mag swimming EB ang BC Bloggers? :)

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  8. the way you wrote your swimming lessons is so cute, hihi! i love all the series but i think this one is my favorite. i can actually feel the water in my skin as if i was with you doing the lessons, too. congrats for finishing your lessons. i know you'll be a good swimmer in no time. :-)

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  9. Wow you are already in your final lesson! Galing I wish I can learn how to swim too..

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  10. Hi Aileen! Congratulations! Yes, you almost did it and with more practice, I know you will be able to do it Perfectly!

    This one's I like the best:

    I knew I had to do it right then or I will never have the nerve to do it ever.


    It's very relate-able, not only in diving but in all other first-time challenge in our lives. Great post!

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  11. Pwede! Sige sis arrange mo hehehe!

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  12. It's just a 12-session training and I had to skip 3 classes because of my sked. Yes, it was that fast but once you know the basics, practice would be very essential to sustain the basic skill.

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  13. Ay sis, it will just get washed down because we have to shower before dunking in the pool.

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  14. I still panic, but not the crippling kind that would make me cling to the gutter and never let go.

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  15. You can do it Ms. Sarah!

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  16. It's fun and scary all rolled into one. If you like you can scream while jumping hahaha! Really, it is very liberating. I'm not much of an extreme risk-taker so all these things I dared to do are calculated risks...See, I survived naman :-)

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  17. Yes Kristine, it is indeed a good life lesson to reflect on. Water used to be so threatening to me that I get these a-ha moments and realizations about life. Swimming made me more introspective, so to speak. :-)

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  18. I sure hope so Dominique. I still have a long way to practice though.

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  19. Congrats for finishing your course. Guess what, I also had the courage to do a little swimming during our R&R with the fam. Thanks to you, you made me realize it's not too late.

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  20. Hi Aileen! Congratulations for another milestone.....with that pwede ka na sumabak sa lahat ng islands sa Pilipinas at mag swim ng mag swim. :) Kidding aside, I'm happy that you were able to accomplish another step in your health life style. Cheers to that!

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  21. Great! Congrats for completing that swimming lessons. Yes we should master the basics first before diving on to the next level.

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  22. Wow, I don't know how to tread! I get terrified when my feet don't touch the floor of the pool. Congrats on your accomplishment thus far.

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  23. You're getting better and better at this! Good for you sis... naiinggit ako! LOL

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  24. Wow ang galing mo na!!! Congrats!!! Na-inspire tuloy ako magswimming lessons. :D

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  25. congrats to you! I hope I will have the courage to learn how to swim in the near future.. feeling ko ang hindi naman sya ganun ka hirap..hehehe

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  26. congratulations! not only did you learn a new skill, overcoming your fear is one huge achievement. :)

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  27. wow! you are doing great! keep it up! i suddenly miss our swimming lessons during college. hehe

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  28. Wow kudos to you for volunteering to go first ha! Keep it up sis! Swimming is an important skill that everyone should know how to do. :)

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  29. oh its 12 sessions lang pala...

    again, congrats ms.aileen

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  30. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. I am now looking forward on a future triathlete.

    MomMy Hanny

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  31. Congratulations, Ms. Aileen! Health is wealth! Keep it up!

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  32. Wow! I fear heights and so with water. You really got the courage sis.. :)

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  33. kudos to you for completing your swimming course! i still haven't got the courage to go to the part where i couldn't reach the (pool/sea) floor so diving is not even in my bucket list. hehehe.

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  34. I can feel the tense when you jump. But as usual, you are so brave sis. Way to go.


    Mommy Maye

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  35. Practice makes perfect ika nga. I can see that you are really enjoying your swimming lessons.

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  36. the courage and determination you got is very inspiring..:) great job!

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  37. Learning something new really requires courage. I remember the treading part in our swimming class in college. We were supposed to do the treading for 3 minutes or else we fail. I'm glad I passed. I used the bicycle technique. When I'm in the water, I just move my legs as if pedaling a bicycle. It worked then. I just don't know if I can still do it. It's been years since.

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  38. congrats for completing the basics

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  39. Congrats Aileen! Runner na, swimmer pa! :) Go na sa advanced lessons.

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  40. Congrats! You made it to the last lesson. Well, you should also try the advanced lessons. Grabe I really admire your perseverance.

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  41. Wow natapos mo! I'm happy for you. Now you're certified swimmer na rin. Congrats!

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  42. Please teach me and my kids how to swim next time, teehee!

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  43. Congrads on competing the course:)

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  44. Wow congratulations!!! You did it! Galing naman! :D

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  45. congrats to you! now you can start preparing for a beach gateway

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  46. Congratulations again Ms. Aileen! Go for triathlon na..

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  47. Hi Aileen! I'm now joining you via GFC. Congrats there again.



    Kristine @ A Changed Life
    http://www.ruralmomkristine.com

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  48. I have some sort of swimming lessons before when I was still a student. It was a nice experience but I didn't get to practice so I still cant swim until now, Besides, I don't have the courage same as you have. Kudos to you! It's another milestone...

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  49. When I learned how to swim at YWCA, we did that too. Jump in feet first from the diving board then tread a little bit before swimming to the side. It helped that we were all kids. Scary at first but so much fun after you get the hang of it. It's a bit like the frog kick in breast stroke.

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  50. I would really love to know how to swim. Reading about you progress makes me wish we have this kind of lesson here.

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  51. OMG wala pang updates? Any swimming competitions? Wala pa? Hehehe! Looking forward to reading more about your progress! :D

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  52. have you decided if you'll teach swimming? hehe...

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  53. an galing mo tlga sis, runner na swimmer pa! i know how to swim a little ut i get cramps easier especially when its cold so hanggang 5 feet lang ang kaya ko! :P

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  54. I totally agree with GeriLen, you're blessed knowing awesome sports. I attended a swimming class before too. 1st yr HS summer. I missed the class for butterfly and diving, and so I don't know that hahahaha!

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  55. Maria Teresa GuanlaoAugust 8, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Haha, sis I enjoyed reading this post of yours, nakakatuwa pero sa totoo lang, ang lakas ng loob mo sis ha, haha! Well, you are the person who likes to experience anything, when it comes to any type of exercise, hehe! I envy you sis, lam mo bang til now di ako marunong lumangoy, tanda ko nang to, waaa!

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