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Thursday, May 11, 2017

The story about a girl learning to swim.

As our second child, I must admit we didn't start official swimming lessons from when she was a few months old. Actually, she was about two.

And then, in winter times, we stopped because it was so cold in Melbourne. Then aged five she got whoopping cough and we had another term off, at age seven, it was Glandular Fever and we had to stop everything.

So really, Miss 8 has had a bit of an average attempt at swimming lessons compared to her sister and over the summer it was clear that while she was confident in the pool, we needed to sort out her actual swimming stroke and improve her style.

We booked into our local swimming pool, a no-frills local pool where you do your lessons and are free to have a swim or a play afterwards.

After her first lesson, Miss 8 was excited that she was probably the best in her group. On week 2 the teacher called a supervisor over to suggest this was the wrong group for her and they sorted out getting her to swim a full lap of the pool to show her freestyle. But, she quickly told them, no. She couldn't swim that far.

A little encouragement to give it a try saw her take off and swim the best lap ever.

Ten minutes later she asked me how many laps it would take to swim a kilometre. I did some quick maths, told her it would be TWENTY laps but it was great she could now do one all on her own.

When all of a sudden she took off swimming. Miss 8 decided that she was going to swim a km, because a kid in her class did it that weekend.

I suggested she aim for six and then re-evaluate, but she just kept going. Slowly, in her own style of stroke, lap after lap until she hit 20. We high-fived and did underwater somersaults to celebrate.

And then I re did my maths calculations and sighed, saying it was actually 40 laps, as this was a 25m pool. ARRRGGGh.

So off she swam. ANOTHER 20 laps.

I really didn't think she was going to make it. I walked behind her every lap, getting more and more exhausted because the reality is that I haven't swam 40 laps in, well, ever.

And just like that, we have a kid who loves swimming. Who isn't afraid to swim a lap of the pool or stress out when she can't touch the bottom for a long time. She's happy to try every stroke and knows she can swim for as long as she likes.

We've still got a way to go with making those strokes look the way they should, but right now, she's swimming along.


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