Teachers are sometimes the worst students- I know I am! Michelle, on the other hand, gets the teacher’s pet award. She’s a high school teacher, so right away we had about a million stories to share about “kids these days.” Yea, I’m getting old- I say things like, “When I was your age…” and I can’t believe it’s coming out of my mouth. Anyway, we got along great, which always make a lesson fly by.
Michelle is one of those participants that I just cannot understand. She’s young, smart, fun, active… and yet she can’t swim. There really is no tell-tale sign to identify a non-swimmer. Her situation reminds me of Jerry, #28. Yes, I realize how ridiculously naive I sound, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around adults that don’t know how to swim. I’ve spent my life assuming most people, especially adults, know how to swim. I also grew up thinking blue sky and flip flops were completely normal 363 days a year. (Which they are in San Diego!) It’s perspective.
Michelle told me about her relationship with water: “I had a pool growing up; I love the ocean, lakes, etc. I have no problem going in a pool, playing around in an ocean or even jumping off a boat in the bay. I can doggie paddle and put my head under the water and kick around. I wouldn’t say that I can’t swim– I’d say that I’m a weak swimmer since I don’t know any of the strokes and would die if left in open water for too long.” Well, that’s not good. I was excited to work with her.
Like most of my adult participants (99.9%!), it was the breathing that she didn’t quite get. I always ask, “If you were running track, would you hold your breath?” “If you were doing yoga would you hold your breath?” “If you were playing football, would you hold your breath?” The response, “No, I’d pass out.” Ummm…doesn’t the same concept apply to swimming, except that you’d pass out in water?! Michelle could relate, as she does yoga and knows how important breathing is for her practice. So, she decided to get zenlike.
Once she got over the water on her face, Michelle began blowing her bubbles and figuring out the whole inhale (in the air)/ exhale (in the water) routine. The beauty of it is that the air is always there. It’s consistent. Whenever you need it, just pick your head up out of the water and breathe. As much as you want. She said she never even thought about the breathing. A lot of people don’t. I broke it down for her and once she got it, she relaxed and swam beautifully. Zenlike. Namaste.
Check out Michelle’s YouTube video by clicking below…