The Cap, The Goggles, and The Deep-End: Part II of the ‘Farewell to Floaties’ Saga

swimming adventure woa

Well you guys… I did it. It was a long and tumultuous road…. but I made it. I took the beast head on and finally did it. Yes… you guessed it-- I finally chose the bathing suit I’ll be wearing while taking my swim lessons. HA! Gotcha—but in all seriousness, that too was a major challenge in itself! Have any of you actually tried purchasing a swimsuit in the summer? They’re practically an endangered species by the time June rolls around, and stores pretty much start playing holiday music by the end of July. Luckily, Costco proved their worth to me by coming through with the perfect polyester blend suitable for any thirty year-old embarking on their first official swim lesson—a solid, black, one piece. Bingo!

After putting a lot of thought and consideration into how I could best tackle this life-long fear, I decided private lessons were ultimately the better way to go. Yes, I’m sure the swim instructors are very talented over at the city’s community pool, however, I felt that my “situation” might be a tad more successful in a one-on-one environment. The main determining factor to this decision came after I noticed the assigned age ranges for swim lesson groups. Mine would have fallen under the 12-adult category… and while I do try to maintain a strong level of confidence throughout this whole venture—I’m not sure how much it would hold up once I found myself in a Billy Madison situation, surrounded by a bunch of sniveling preteens. No thanks.

I ended up reaching out to a few friends hoping someone could steer me in the right direction –and voila! Enter, Frank—the aquatic angel who is going to turn these feet into fins and bring out my inner mermaid once and for all! Frank is one of those people you feel instantly comfortable around and connected with. His extensive knowledge, experience, and overall passion for swim completely dissolved any of my preconceived inhibitions to where I actually felt excited about what was yet to come over these next couple of weeks.

I’m not going to lie, my first day at the pool was a little intimidating after I walked out onto the deck of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, inside a massive sports center. However, once I realized I was going to be “swimming” alongside a girl of similar age, training for the Iron Man Triathlon—my nerves quickly subsided and I had never felt so confident in my own skin. Just kidding. I felt like a jackass. But I would have felt that way regardless of this human torpedo plowing through the water next to me. I also didn’t come here to spectate- so with that in mind, I adjusted my one-piece, positioned my goggles, and readily entered the pool.  

So far, I’ve had 3 swim sessions with Frank and within that small timeframe, I feel like I have accomplished more with swimming than ever before. A true fish in the making! I’ve become increasingly more comfortable in the pool—and for the first time in basically forever—I’m starting to lose the fear and anxiety that always followed me into any body of water. Now I know you all are probably attributing this new found glory to a few of key factors: Frank’s method of teaching, my dedicated will to learn, the private lessons—but I think the real winners here are my goggles and swim cap. Yes, I said swim cap… and goggles. Honestly, I can’t see myself –so I don’t know how ridiculous I look-- but when I put on that swim cap and secure my goggles I feel like now,  I mean business. Who knows, maybe they act as my version of a security blanket or one of those thunder coats for dogs with anxiety issues. Don’t know, don’t care—I’m doing it and that’s all that matters!

Other than having a brief freak out after thinking I was practicing my free-style a bit too close to the edge of the deep-end, I would say that things have been going quite swimmingly, if you will. Don’t worry—Frank walked me over to where the deep-end started. Turns out I was nowhere near reaching that drop-off and basically spazzed out for nothing. Guess I really underestimated the whole “Olympic” portion of an Olympic-sized swimming pool… Whoopsie!

Currently, I’m being faced with a slight challenge over these next upcoming weeks. I’ll be off on my own due to scheduling conflicts and pool closures, so it’s my responsibility to get into my own pool and practice what Frank has taught me thus far. The worst part is, this isn’t even anything I can fake—Frank is going to know my ass didn’t practice if I come back white-knuckling the edge of the pool while panicking in fear. I refuse to go back to Step 1 (which is literally learning how to blow bubbles)—so I plan to be in that pool as much as possible. I’m just wondering if my dog is up for stepping in as substitute teacher for a few weeks—then maybe I can show up to my next swim lesson with some impressive dog-paddling skills to surprise Frank with! Just something to consider….

Happy Swimming, Everyone!

Read Janell's first post about this swim adventure.