Thursday, June 30, 2011

Splash: Swim Lessons

Four years ago, Miss A could not get her head in the water.  She had holes in both ear drums and tonsils that looked horrid.  Three years ago, the tonsils were gone, but one hole remained, so again Miss A spent the summer above water splashing in the zero entry area and walking only chest deep in the lake.  Two summers ago, Miss A's hole in her right ear was so huge she had to wear a cotton ball whenever she was near any water.

Last summer, after her third ear related surgery, she was finally cleared for swimming; like real swimming where you actually go under water.  Swim lessons were a huge hit for Miss A last July and she jumped ahead two levels.  A fish was born.

This summer, we are at a new pool and at first Miss A was a little nervous.  Children under 11 are required to take a swim test to see where they are allowed to go in the pool.  On our first trip to the pool, she got a wristband that said she could only go where she touched.  No deep end. No diving board.

Miss A was bummed, but took it in stride.  Swim lessons started (twice a week for a month) and Miss A was again a fish without fear. At the end of her second lesson, she wanted to retake the swim test at the outdoor pool.  She passed to the highest level without restrictions.  The lifeguard was so impressed. 

Last night, Miss A told me she's thinking she might go out for the Junior High Swim team.  She loves swimming.  She's mastered freestyle, treading water, jumping of the diving board, and she's working on the back float (the only thing she doesn't like.)  Her teacher beams when Miss A practices before lessons even begins, and works on her strokes during free time at the pool.  She's mastered "breathing" and her strokes look fabulous.

I recommended that Miss A worry about first grade next year before she jumps the gun on being a junior high swim team member.  However, not to quash her ambitious spirit, I said that maybe it would be possible to go out for swim team next summer at our club.  She's thinking it through.

What I love about Miss A is that she's never let anything stop her.  She wanted to swim and she does.  Who cares that for years she was wadding in the shallow end with dry hair and ears and not able to get her face wet.  Once she's able, its full steam ahead.  Think that might be a life lesson.

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