A few weeks ago one of the scariest moments in my life happened. Luke was playing around the pool and fell in. I was close by sitting under the shade with baby Foster in his carrier (it was the week after I’d gotten home from my c-section). I saw him fall in so I immediately ran to the side of the pool where I could see him kicking under the water. I jumped in and pulled him out. He was crying and I was shaking uncontrollably. Thank goodness he was ok but since his fall he’s been terrified of the pool. So much that he actually starts hyperventilating when you take him in. It’s been a challenge trying to ease him back but things are progressing.
Not only was the experience traumatizing for Luke but it was also traumatizing for me. It made desperate to teach Luke how to swim – it’s so very important and I can’t encourage parents enough to teach their children.
This week Luke, Foster and I were lucky to attend an amazing event that focused around the importance of swimming… SwimToday with five-time Olympian, Dara Torres. SwimToday focuses on promoting and growing participation in the sport of swimming. Not only is it an important skill but, above all, it’s FUN!
Interestingly enough, USA Swimming’s research shows that almost 80% of parents, who have put their child through swim lessons, don’t consider swimming when thinking about sports for their child. I have to admit I USED to be in that 80% but after this event it gave me a completely different outlook on swimming and I’d love to have Luke in the sport.
The event started off with lunch and a Q&A session with Dara. I specifically asked her about how to address a child who has a fear of the water or has had a traumatic experience and she said to not rush them and recommends putting googles on them.
After lunch and Q&A we got a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Championship. I was incredibly impressed with the Northside Swim Center here in San Antonio – I had no idea that we had a facility like that in town!
After the tour was the neatest part! Luke got to have a swim lesson with Dara herself! I mean, if an Olympian can’t teach your child to swim than who can?! Dara was incredible with all the kids, particularly Luke. She moved very slow with him, easing him in to the water and always making him feel safe. I was so incredibly grateful to her for putting the FUN back in to swimming for him!
Above Photos By: Mario Cantu
WHY GET YOUR KIDS SWIMMING?
It’s closer than you think – 62 percent of families live within 10 minutes of a pool; 52 percent of households with combined income of $50,000 or less report they have access to a pool nearby.
Everyone participates – Swimming is inclusive, there are no benchwarmers (nor benches)
Swimming is a team sport – Only 16 percent of non-swimming parents view swimming as a team sport but parents of swimmers associate the sport with teamwork more than any other sport
Suit up and go – Only a swimsuit, cap and goggles are necessary to get started
Life skills – Swimming increases self-confidence, self-esteem, time management, goal-setting and social development
Easy to learn – 76 percent of parents said the ease of learning to swim was high
Low risk of injury – No contact makes for a safer environment
Swimming = total body fitness – Burn 650 calories in an hour – more than walking, biking or team sports
Sport for life – Once you learn to swim, you can enjoy no matter your age
Swimming is FUN – Parents confirm that swimming is the #FunnestSport
As you can tell it was an experience that Luke and I will never forget! There aren’t many kids that can say they swam with an Olympian! To learn more about the SwimToday program click here.