Swimming Fears


I am over 30, and until a few months ago, I didn't know how to swim. I remember trying to being taught when I was a little kid, but I never liked it. I was afraid of the water, didn't like to be held in the water, got water up my nose a few traumatic times, and never got back into a pool. I recently taught myself how to swim because my son was learning how to swim. It would be hypocritical to talk about being water safe if I was not water safe myself. I had to face my swimming fears.

What was I afraid of? Here is a list:

  1. water above or in ears
  2. being sucked out to deep water where I would drown
  3. putting face in water
  4. not moving while kicking, or sinking
  5. closing eyes in water so I am disoriented and don't know where I am
  6. water up nose, burning chlorine feel
  7. panic, fast moving hands, sinking feeling
  8. falling feeling, like during floating on back
  9. childhood fears and memories from trying to learn to swim
  10. being stuck to the side of the pool
  11. being splashed by others, eyes, inhaling up nose
Here is how I overcame each of the above fears:
  1. just do it, nothing bad will happen
  2. this just doesn't happen in a pool
  3. goggles and nose clip or breathe out through nose while under water. If air is coming out water cannot enter
  4. try kicking on surface of water instead of underneath. Also, learn how to tread water
  5. use goggles
  6. use nose clip or breathe out nose while underwater
  7. relax and move slower
  8. just do it. Take a big breath and kick out your legs, you won't fall, Also, and this is very important, learn how to use your hands and your body so you can gracefully get your legs under you after floating from different positions.
  9. discuss and move forward. Make new positive memories, compare and contrast your childhood memories to your adult brain
  10. as long as the center is the same depth as the side of the pool, there is nothing to be worried about
  11. goggles, plugs, watching your surroundings when inhaling, not splashing and not being around splashers

One can also always use various flotation devices if they need to to practice skills.

I hope my story and the list of my fears will help you learn swimming.

Thanks for reading!

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