Swim Please!

December 21, 2010

Goggles, Submersion

Filed under: kids swim lessons, swimming — Tags: , , — maybe an idealist @ 1:08 am

I had long forgotten the amazing vision goggles provide; it was a fact of life. I have to thank Julia for reminding me. Julia is a wild child, full of life and curiosity. She rarely sits still. She is best motivated by the reward of either jumping or flying into the water. She was in a class of less physically active children, much to her distress. I put goggles on everyone. The others, not memorable on this day, knew the uses of goggles. Everyone else knew they would be able to see. Everyone else knew we would be saying hi, counting, and waving underwater.
I captured Julia from her attempt to gain deeper waters. She didn’t protest my new idea of goggles. She obediently held the goggles over her eyes with both hands while I pulled the strap over her head. They were our basic goggles: light purple, clear lenses, a single no longer adjustable strap. I kept a hand loosely on Julia’s wrist to avert escape to deeper water. My current goggles of the time were clear. We were playing—saying “hi” underwater, waving and blowing bubbles. This does have uses: it gets everyone wet, it gives me a chance to be sure no one is drinking the pool, it reinforces blowing bubbles all the time underwater, it gives us a chance to gather any latecomers before adding new content. Everyone else was used to playing this game. We were sitting on the bottom, waving, and pretending to have tea parties.
Julia caught on. She joined us underwater, waving madly. An occasional bubble escaped from her grin. A new world was now hers. The others had already met the world of underwater. Everyone else was ready to move on. We had other things to practice underwater. We were practicing, swimming from a side wall out to me and back. Everyone was bobbing under while awaiting their turns, but none to the extent of Julia. Everyone else was keeping one hand on the wall as they tried bobbing to the bottom of the pool. Julia didn’t care. Julia wasn’t going anywhere. I finally tucked her under one arm and taught: her face down, staring underwater, fascinated, enraptured, and impossible to distract. I was teaching my rocketship v. airplane lesson. As we spread our arms and flew around the shallow area, I had a irregular attachment, face down a majority of the time. As we continued into blasting rockets, I had a mild handicap of an occupied arm. As we blasted off the wall, testing flight, I had a jet pack propelling herself towards the bottom. As the other four swimmers discovered hydrodynamic properties, Julia discovered underwater vision.
Now, Julia always wears goggles to class. At three feet tall, Julia happily swims to five and six feet deep. She still has unlimited confidence, but has found the balance and buoyancy essential to continual swimming.


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