I did my first run of the year yesterday and even though I managed my 30 minutes, it was a struggle to get into it. I ran once between Christmas and New Year so I am slightly out of practice.
Last Thursday I went to a swimming lesson, yes 40 years old and learning to swim 😐 I did have lessons as a child but one horrific incident left me hating swimming and to this day if I can’t feel the bottom of the pool I panic.
When I was in primary school we used to go swimming and I was quite happy in the shallow end and even got my red badge for swimming a width. This was a big thing for me as my parents didn’t take me swimming nor did they teach me how to ride a bike, these were skills that I craved and have gone out and pursued as an adult. My brother had a bike when we were kids, a BMX Raleigh Burner. I remember having a Ferris Wheel and a Tea Set but other than that I never had the big exciting presents. The gender stereotypes were very much instilled into us even though I tried rebel as much as I could. Girls should learn how to cook, clean and sew. I did learn all that but I was also quite awesome at climbing drainpipes and being the best tom boy I could be 😀
Anyway I digress, let’s get back to the swimming. One lesson the instructor at the local Leisure Centre asked if a few of us would come out of the pool and follow her to the deep end. I had never been in the deep end and I was quite scared. The instructor stood at the edge of the pool and had a long pole a bit like a broom handle. She held it out horizontally over the pool with her arm stretched out over the water. I was told to come forward and run to the pole whereby I’d catch the pole and she’d lower me into the water. In hindsight it’s a ridiculous idea and a smarter child might have cottoned onto the fact that this wasn’t going to work. I however, naively ran up and stretched my arms in the air to catch hold of the pole. It was at that point the instructor moved the pole out of my reach and I went straight into the deep end. I panicked so much and ended up having to be ‘rescued’ by a class mate. That was when I decided swimming wasn’t for me 😞
When I was in my 30s I decided it was time to learn how to swim again and my husband decided to teach me the basics. So now I can do breast stroke in shallow water, which works out fine when we go on holiday but I’m still petrified of deep water. I have decided to have swimming lessons now so that I can improve my technique and have more confidence in the water, it’s something I wanted to do for me 😀
It was also in my 30s when I decided to learn how to ride a bike and now thankfully I can do that as well. It makes it much easier when we go to Centre Parcs! I don’t think it’s ever to late to learn and I would encourage anyone who is ‘missing’ a skill to look into how they can acquire that skill now. I swam and rode a bike in my 30s and now in my 40s I’m learning how to run for an extended period of time. It’s never too late to learn and nowadays there are many resources out there for learning. To learn to swim or ride a bike then google your local authority first as they offer lessons for both of these activities. Try Bike Right for some information on free lessons in Birmingham, UK.