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I feel about as comfortable in water as I do on land. I am proud of that ....

There was a Dairy here where we were talking about this today in the comments. I was kind of stunned most people learned how I learned. My parents just threw me in the water and said swim. Now they were in the water with me. No child abuse :). But as I get older, and I am turning around 45, I am stunned folks do the shit they do.

An example below the fold ....

This is my niece:


Katie. Just a pic from a few days ago swimming with dolphins.

A couple weeks ago my brother asked me if I wanted to come watch her take her swimming class. I think I said that is the stupiest thing in the world. (1) You are paying somebody to teach your daughter how to swim and (2) Why not get in the water with her.

I said I wanted to come. Katie and I are close. But why would I want to see her take a class to swim if I don't know I could swim around with her. Katie and I went for a swim.

That seemed to confuse my brother, cause well they don't get in the water with her. I don't understand.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:15:44 PM PDT

  •  It Hurts My Head (9+ / 0-)

    it hurt by brother's head when I said, why would I want to see her take a class to swim? I could actually swim, as I did, with her.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:19:28 PM PDT

  •  My girls learned on their own (11+ / 0-)

    around 2 years old.  I started off with floats for them, but if you watch them for a few things you'll know they're ready.

    1)  They are comfortable being in the water
    2)  They are comfortable having their face in the water
    3) They know you are there if they need you
    4) They think it's fun (swim to me!)

    Swimming at a young age usually means swimming under water and coming up for air when necessary.  My daughter with autism still swims that way.  She swims like a dolphin, it's pretty amazing to watch.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:24:33 PM PDT

    •  A Few Years Ago, I Think The Guy Was 47 (5+ / 0-)

      we were white water rafting. Pretty intense stuff.

      Out of the blue this guy tells so us he can't swim.

      I mean we are about to go white water rafting and you just thought it was this time to bring up you can't swim.

      You know we might have taught him to swim. Not be scared of the water. Can of a crease course, but we did what we could.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:33:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Would Argue The Face In Water (7+ / 0-)

      is key. Either you can handle that or you can't.

      For me it isn't an issue. But I can understand how it could be a huge issue.

      You could shoot me. Do all kinds of things. My worse fear is not having oxygen. I mean the last way I want to die is not to have air. Be able to breath.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:41:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amazing! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, viral, FloridaSNMOM, chimene, crose
      She swims like a dolphin, it's pretty amazing to watch.
      Our daughter (also on the autistic spectrum) swims like that, too.

      When she was quite little and we would go to a hotel, she'd make her way from one end of the pool to the other by sort of bouncing off the bottom when she needed some air. Scared the dickens out of other people at the pool, seeing this tiny child in the deep end.

      •  Yeah, grown-ups don't seem to like to see wee (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viral, FloridaSNMOM, chimene, crose, elmo

        ones at the bottom of the deep end, but that's where my girl likes it.  I'm glad she's not so wee anymore, so people don't freak out as much, but she can hold her breath for a long time, it makes people nervous.

        You should see her on the high dive.  You've never seen such a big grin in your life.

        I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

        by coquiero on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 05:05:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't remember learning to swim (9+ / 0-)

    I was always a swimmer.

    The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

    by bgblcklab1 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:25:07 PM PDT

    •  Me too, it was always there. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bgblcklab1, chimene

      My first memory of water is paddling around the deep end of a backyard pool when my grandmother was in swimming lessons at the shallow end.

      My mother told me that she would bring me to a pool during my infancy to be accustomed to water.

      It seems to have worked, as the only thing that ever keeps me out of water is the lack of free time due to a preoccupation with work.

      Lenski is a screen-nym, not my surname.

      by lenski on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:50:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My case might have been child abuse. (5+ / 0-)

    I have been told that I was left on the beach as a toddler when my parents and older sisters went swimming, and I just crawled out into the water, bobbed to the surface and there it was. Since the crawling motions are much like the dog-paddle (as opposed to the crawl stroke), it could be said that I learned how to swim before I learned how to walk.  

    Later, of course, I learned specific strokes, like the crawl ("freestyle"), butterfly, backstroke, etc., but I never "learned" how to swim, I have been able to for as long as I remember.

    GOP Agenda: Repeal 20th Century.

    by NormAl1792 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:29:58 PM PDT

  •  My swimming has always been... (5+ / 0-)

    ...just a high level of dog paddling.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:37:07 PM PDT

  •  I learned in a municpal summer program age 6 (6+ / 0-)

    When I was down in Chile last year I went with my son to y granddaughters swimming class and I men got in the ter and helped them do the class exercises. In Spanish, and I learned some cool new songs too.. Sigrid was 3 and Lulu was 1.5 and he needed help. Both the girls are a yer older now and can swim reall well by themselves.
    Ive always done well in the water. Ive done SCUBA, taught it for a while, worked as a  professional diver. I still swim 3 halfmiles a week at  my gym

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:41:44 PM PDT

  •  I learned by going to the local public pool (6+ / 0-)

    and figuring it out for myself. My daughter knew how to swim when I signed her up for a class so she could polish up her moves and learn how to help someone in trouble in the water.

    She taught her boys, but signed them up for swimming classes, first so she'd have an hour off twice a week and second to expand their skills and their social circle.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:42:35 PM PDT

  •  Summer Camp (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, webranding, viral

    I think I was in 5th or 6th grade.

    First time in the pool I went straight to the bottom.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:43:15 PM PDT

  •  There was an above ground pool set up in the (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, webranding, viral, crose, chimene

    backyard , my brother had some friends over , when they were done and gone I jumped in the pool and started swimming . No one was around , my mother looked out and saw me swimming .
    My brothers friend left a longboard along side our house ,
    I saw it there , I didn't know who it belonged to , didn't cross my mind that it belonged to anyone , I grabbed it and took it down to the beach and did my best to surf , I used it for a very very long time , no one said anything to me about using it , it was so big and heavy the only way I could really carry it was on my head until I made a 2 x 4 trailer for my bike .

    When I took scuba lessons the instructors thought I was sent from the office to check up on them . They said I was to good to be a student .

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:44:42 PM PDT

    •  mr u grew up in the Canal Zone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, viral, crose

      His pride and joy was his big ass long surfboard. He saved and bought it and picked the design on it. I have a pic of him standing with it grinning like a fool, he was about 15 or so. Surfing was his life.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:49:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Now Get The Beach Thing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viral, high uintas, chimene

        My brother a few years ago decided to get married on a beach in FL. We have no connection to FL or a beach. Just what they wanted to do. We were there for two weeks. In that short time I might have gone into the "surfing" culture.

        I have been to a lot of beaches in my life. Never for a couple weeks. Where I lived on said beach. I did not want to leave. I could easily see how I'd be a beach bum!

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:58:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Like you, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    my dad chucked me in the pool and said "Swim!"

    I still wonder what might have happened had I not figured it out.

    I taught my younger sisters to swim by being in the pool with them.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:15:03 PM PDT

  •  I dog-paddled as far back as I can remember (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't remember being thrown in though. It's a possibility.

  •  My parents got me a swim teacher (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's who taught me how to swim.  I didn't want my parents to touch me while I was in the water and there was a pool at the apartments we lived in.  They were smart and hired a professional.  And then I was a good swimmer after that.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:01:49 PM PDT

  •  Mother got us started. She borrowed book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, chimene

    from the public library. It was years later that she confessed that she didn't know how to swin ...she grew up as a poor city kid, no swimming facilities, no lessons.

    After learning the basics from mother, we got to take proper swimming lessons with Red Cross certificates and all. And DIVING lessons, too! Grand adventure!

    First time on the high diving board. . . I was hesitating a lot, looking over the edge. . . .and the instructor simply gave me a push (which I didn't feel, but figured that's what happened since next thing that 'registered' was the impression of being halfway down to the water). It was OK.

    Lessons were very helpful for competitive swimming and for learning how to rotate positions when swimming long distances.

    BTW, my Dutch relatives who live near canals say that there all babies age six months are taken into the pool with their mothers and have happy, reassuring, and cozy swimming experiences and 'lessons' so that no child should accidentally drown if it falls in a canal.

    Now I kick myself because I came to the website to see about political news and was there any action to be done and what do I do instead but indulge in wool-gathering.

  •  Sophomore year in High School (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My school had a requirement that certain physical education benchmarks be completed.

    One of them was passing the Basic Water Rescue course, so I chose to do that.  Part of that course was learning to swim.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:07:10 PM PDT

  •  It's great to learn how to swim (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, northerntier, chimene, devis1

    but it's also important to be able to float.

    I grew up in Vermont, near Lake Champlain. Our next door neighbor had a near drowning experience as a boy. He'd gone out on the lake in a rowboat, and the boat sank. There he was, all alone, too far to swim to shore. So he simply rolled over onto his back and floated. It took several hours before his family noticed he was overdue and came out to look for him.

    The key thing was not to panic, because when you're tense you simply aren't as buoyant.

    •  if you're "too" muscular, you may not float either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      my DH, even when overweight (fat floats), sank like a rock every time he tried to learn to swim. muscle is DENSE and heavy.

      no matter how strong you are, you have to have SOME degree of flotation. or else

      I think he said the last time he tried was in HS, around Grade 10, maybe.

      I can remember Mama taking us over to some pool or other in the neighboring college town for summer lessons when I was maybe 8 or 9? Little brother was 6-7. Baby sister got the wading pool, if I was 8, she was around 3. Anyway, instruction was pretty rough as I recall. I'm surprised I wasn't terminally put off! Unfortunately I already had plenty of "flotation insulation", so it's a good thing I enjoyed it in spite of the mean uber-competetive style of "coaching". I'm sure the brat teenager was just passing on what he got from his own coach.

      Our kiddo got modern instruction, starting at around 4??? Instruction here starts with infants, but that didn't fit at the time, so we waited. He never had any problems with putting his face in the water. Modern instruction is vastly more civilized than we recall. He took lessons & swam with the non-school group until just a couple of years ago. an hour, 3x/wk

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:15:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "threw me in the water," then I sank, (0+ / 0-)

    never could float....~

    "You are what you write, not what you look like."

    by PHScott on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:52:03 PM PDT

  •  My parents tricked me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    had me swim to them and  kept moving farther away.  I was glad I got the confidence to leave the shallow end, but I still have that little kernel of distrust.

    Come to think of it they did the same kind of thing when they taught me to ride a bike ;)

  •  Sometimes you just give up. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crose, chimene

    When I was five and my sister seven my
    dad gave up trying to teach us to swim.  He
    enrolled us in Red Cross swimming classes...
    but we never progressed beyond kinda sorta treading water. Dad was desperate.  He wanted to buy a sailboat, but Mom insisted my sister and I had to know how to swim first.  So Dad enrolled us for personal swimming lessons at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.  I still remember my instructor, a young man named Connie,  holding me on the surface of the water by clutching the stomach of my swimsuit, hissing "now float dammit".   Connie, too, gave up, telling dad that some kids' bodies are dense and have absolutely no buoyancy. Poor dad didn't get his sail boat. Had to settle for a motorboat.

    My sister & I never told him how terrified and disoriented we were if we got water in our mouth, eyes or ears.

    •  never? ever? could you tell him now? (0+ / 0-)

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:18:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No Chimene, neither my sister nor I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ever told him.  He died almost thirty years ago without knowing how much we hated the swimming lessons.

        •  ah well. (0+ / 0-)

          my dad got carried off by an early (37-ish) heart attack about 45 years ago. but he didn't have anything to do with the swimming, 8-), AFAIK. That was all Mama's idea, and a good one, as her folks lived at the Pacific Coast at the time, and we visited a lot. And had a creek on the place that actually had water in it most of the year, etc.

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:50:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Swimming was easy, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, viral, roberb7, chimene

    once I got out of the bag.

    We all stand submissively before the global ATM machine network like trained chickens pecking the correct colored buttons to release our grains of corn. Joe Bageant

    by Zwoof on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 05:12:06 PM PDT

  •  At the lake one summer, Jerry dove off the dock (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    perfectly. So perfectly that the lifeguard did not want to jump in when we were all screaming and Jerry was flailing in the water. HE CAN'T SWIM. The lifeguard thought we were punking him. We weren't. The lifeguard rescued him. Jerry later became a Christian at the Vacation Bible School that summer. He always did dive in, I don't think it was ever what he expected.

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 05:28:17 PM PDT

  •  Learning to swim (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I took lessons as a kid. I don't know why my parents went that route instead of teaching me themselves. My kids learned from me. They started in those infant/toddler swim suits with the life vests attached (to gain confidence in the water), and as they got older we worked more and more without them. My son isn't a strong swimmer but he can keep his head above water. My daughter is better. But my son has NEVER liked water on his ears, it's a sensory issue he has.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:04:46 PM PDT

  •  Y.M.C.A (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My Granddad wanted me not to be stereotype (Black people don't swim), so he enrolled me for swim classes at the YMCA in Long Beach. Til this day I can do a mean backstroke.

  •  I was in the water before walking, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crose, chimene

    as were we all when I was little.
    But there was a family story, way back, under other conditions, of a great grandparent who was thrown into the water and everyone shouted
    "Sweeyum! Nattie, sweeyum!"

  •  I can't remember not swimming. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, chimene

    But my rural community had Back Yard Swim classes. Some of the adults (and older teens)  got certified as swim instructors (from the Red Cross, maybe?)  and they taught each others' kids. The families with pools hosted lessons.

    It was very simple, really. Just folks making sure each others' kids knew how to be safe in a place where there are lots of pools, plus lakes and beach an hour's drive away.

    We ALL learned how to swim.

    And many of us became little fish.

    Kayaking, boating, fording rivers while hiking, I respect the power of water a lot, but I don't fear it.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:12:17 PM PDT

  •  I also swim decently well. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My father watched his brother drown at a public park because no one had taught him to swim.

    Therefore, when we were about three, he made us learn to swim.

    I still cannot stand water on my ears. But I can swim.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:30:51 PM PDT

  •  I never learned how to swim (0+ / 0-)

    My mother was a parent who was afraid of everything.  Unfortunately, her fear of the watery doom stuck with me.  I'd love to know how to swim, but I can't afford a private instructor.

  •  Our parents (0+ / 0-)

    went swimming with us when we were toddlers. We had little tubes too, but mostly Mom or Dad would just float us along supporting us by our stomachs and let us paddle along, then do the 'come to me' thing and then let us go. One summer I and my friends went to the neighborhood pool every day the pool was open. Neither my brother nor I are afraid of being underwater at all. I am a big fat thing on land but when I am in the water I am like a seal. I can stay in cooler water for a long time-hours-and I love snorkeling. The only time I remember being afraid of being in the water was when a diving coach yelled at me for screwing up a backwards dive. Sometimes I dream I can breathe under water.

  •  I didn't learn till I was in 7th grade (0+ / 0-)

    I had a bad experience when my parents tried to teach me to swim -- almost drowned -- so I never learned. Almost drowned again in 4th grade when I was trying to "fake" swimming and went under in a friend's backyard pool; fortunately her brother was Red Cross trained (he was studying to be a summer lifeguard) and pulled me out and pushed the water out (I didn't completely stop breathing so mouth-to-mouth wasn't necessary).

    Not every parent is gifted with the ability to teach their kids; I'm glad that I was able to learn in 7th grade PE. (In fact, I was the only one of the "novice" swim group that actually learned to swim, and that earned me the only A I ever got in PE.) Still not super comfortable in deep water, and don't have the endurance I'd like to have, but I do enjoy getting in and splashing around. And I'd love to be able to swim with dolphins someday.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:08:21 PM PDT

  •  I was never afraid of water as a kid. My parents (0+ / 0-)

    like to tell a story about the first time I scared them, my Dad liked to fish so we always went to local lakes on the weekend.  He was leaving in a boat and my dog went after him off the dock, I ran after him into the water, they had to pull me out  by my hair.  I did the same thing again, a few years later, my brother had a friend that taught swimming in the military and he asked him to teach me to swim.  He was warming up by taking a few dives off the high dive.  I followed him off the high dive.  I just did not fear water.

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