Monday Musings: Dealing with Tough Currents through Perseverance

Educator Barnes and her son Jerry having fun during swim lessons.

On Saturday, September 29, 2018, I decided to conquer a fear – learning how to swim.  I knew I should not embark on this journey alone.  I am taking private swim lessons with my seven-year-old twin sons.  It was a long journey to get to this point.  I had to obtain prescription goggles.  These goggles have helped me deal with some of my fear which mostly had to do with not being able to see. 

Now, I have hit a wall.  I suck at coordination.  You’ve probably seen those movies where students are in gym class and there are two captains choosing kids for their teams.  I was that kid who was always chosen last because I sucked.  I spent most of my time in gym class trying to avoid not getting hit in the face with the ball so I wouldn’t get yelled at for breaking my expensive glasses.  I struggled with dribbling, hitting the ball, catching the ball, pretty much anything that needs coordination and athletic skill.  I only had success at gym skills that involved solo work such as running around the track.

Our swim instructor has been teaching us all the skills we need to master so we can swim.  We have learned how to blow nose bubbles.  We have fetched a frog from the bottom of the pool.  We have practiced floating on our backs.  We have practiced scoops and rainbows to learn the arm work.  We have kicked across the pool using a floater. Now, we have to put it together, and I’m on the struggle bus for real.  My brain can’t seem to get the parts to work together, and if it wasn’t for my two kids cheering me on in the pool, I might have bailed by now.  Bailing would be easier.  I wouldn’t have to deal with my hair.  That could be another blog post.  My hair is really long at the moment; I picked the wrong time to grow out my thick and curly hair which has a mind of her own most days.


img_0825My boys wanted my husband to come to the lessons.  I was fine with that because he could take some pictures and videos of us in the pool.  Besides that, I didn’t really want him to come. My husband swam so well in high school, the swim coach tried to recruit him to the swim team.  My husband was an athlete and can’t help but to give unsolicited feedback.  When we left the last lesson, he mentioned I was not moving both arms the same way in the water.  He said I was overworking one side.  This probably explains the arm cramps I had all that weekend.  All I wanted was an arm massage, not feedback.

I know he is just trying to help. I’m going to stick with it even though it is hard and even though I feel like I will never get it.  That is what perseverance is all about. I don’t know what you may be stuck on right now.  I’m stuck trying to learn how to swim.  I feel inadequate and even too old to be learning this now.  I really want to quit, but I hate quitting anything.  If you feel like I do, stay in the fight.  I honestly don’t know how well I will learn how to swim, but I’m willing to stick around to find out.  Hey, I might never be on a swim team, but I have lost a few pounds. Check out the video my husband recorded.



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