Monday, July 5, 2010

Swimming Lessons - Austin's Side

We are starting our 2nd week of swimming lessons and I am just now getting around to posting the pictures from the first day! Oh well...such is life!
We have wanted to get Austin into swimming lessons for a while now. He has, until last summer, had a tad more than a "healthy" fear of the water. We lived in Hawaii for 3 years I bet I can count on two hand the amount of times he went into the ocean...and I don't think I'd use all of my fingers to even count all of them! He loves the bath, but is just REALLY cautious of any other water. It usually made for a really easy day at the beach for us though, because we didn't really have to worry too much about him just jumping in, much less get anywhere NEAR the water! However, we knew he was going to need to learn to least for our own peace of mind as he got older.
Last year, it was like his fear lifted a bit. We went from having to BRIBE him (which is how he got a $40 Speed Racer car...thanks Daddy!) to get into the pool in Hawaii to having him jump in and go under the water in the pool in Arkansas. I don't know what changed other than him growing up a bit. We missed our opportunity last summer to get him signed up for lessons, so we knew this summer was the time to do it.
Let's just say signing him up was an ordeal made complicated by the pool staff, but at least we got him signed up! He was nervous. Really nervous. Can you tell from this picture?

Let's just say that his class didn't stay on this side of the pool for long. Austin refused to get into the water. In fact, he wouldn't even sit on the lower level where the other kids are sitting because he thought it was too deep. Do you see the cat-walk thing in the middle of the picture? The ride side of the pool where it says 4ft? Yeah, they moved to that side and he magically got in. It didn't matter that the depth was the same...he just KNEW it was deeper on the other side and wasn't getting in where he thought he couldn't touch. After lessons, Brian showed him that they were the same and I think he felt a little silly, but that's just what fear does to ya!
Anyway, once the class moved to the other side, he got a little more comfortable. Ok, so he still looks a little nervous, but notice he's sitting where the other kids are sitting!
Then, he got in. See, he's overtaking his brave!
Time for floating on your back! Notice the death grip on the teachers arm?
No more death grip, but it looks like he's holding his breath or something. I'm amazed that he's doing this as he doesn't have a lot of confidence that someone else will hold him up. He likes to be in control and to hand that control over is awful for him!
Practicing kicking.
More back work and he seems a little more at ease. She had them doing a few different poses that I can only imagine would lead to them doing a back stroke or something.
Since this first lesson, he has really been excited to go to swim lessons. The second lesson was cancelled due to storms in the area and he was pretty upset that he wasn't able to go in the pool that day. He is willingly going underwater, even opening his eyes underwater (or so he says), and is working on all kinds of things.
Brian said today that he still needed to work on coordination a bit (not his exact words, but we'll leave it at that), so I think we'll have to just keep going to the pool so he can practice. I don't think we'll do another round of lessons this year since I think it would be mean to not sign Colten up as well (he LOVES the water) and his lessons are all in the evenings. Evenings don't work so well for us and the past week has been rather hard to do. If I signed Austin up for the morning sessions, Colten would probably throw a complete fit when he realizes he's not able to jump in as well. Just can't handle that at this point!
The best part about this is that it's helping him be more comfortable in the water...that's all I really wanted for him. I just always remember having so much fun at the pool and I wanted him to have those same memories, not ones where he was restricted to the shallow end by his own fear.

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