I am 21 now and I’m still unable to swim, however this is not through lack of trying!
My mother took me swimming regularly when I was baby, but apparently I used to be terrified of all the other kids, what with the splashing and noise.
When I was a toddler, my parents enrolled me with a Swimming Club, and I had lessons once a week. I would get in the water, but I didn’t like being in the pool at all. I remember the other kids would splash me, which everyone else apart from me seemed to find really hilarious.
Anyway, after six weeks, the instructor actually took my parents to one side and asked them to remove me from the lessons, because I was holding the other children back!
After this happened, my parents didn’t want to admit defeat, so they took my swimming at the local pool once a week. They did that cruel thing like when you learn how to ride a bike, where they promised me they were holding on to me, but then they would slyly let go! When I realised they had let go, I would freak out and panic, which led to me not trusting them to take me swimming any more.
From the age of 10 to about the ago of 19, I managed to avoid pools at all costs. I wouldn’t advise this to anyone though, because by isolating myself from pools, my fear somehow got worse and worse. Now I can’t even walk around the edge of a pool without panicking, and as soon as I get thigh deep in the water I automatically think I’m going to drown! I’ve been in a pool twice over the past two years, which as far as I’m concerned is twice too many!
This story definitely deserves a positive ending though, therefore I have made learning to swim and facing my demons my mission for 2010. I have actually got a course of 14 lessons all booked up, and my first one is tomorrow! I am absolutely terrified, but, I’m also very determined to succeed, so fingers crossed! :)