Black Girls Swim: Week 1 - "You Look Really Afraid"

November 16, 2010


Earlier this year, (February, to be exact), I did a post, "Myth Buster: Black Girls Don't Swim" confessing my inability to tread/float/swim in the open pool. I vowed to take lessons and to dispel the myth that black girls don't swim. As the year began to come to a close, I didn't want to let the year end without conquering my fear and learning how to swim. I quickly signed up for lessons at my local YMCA to get started as soon as possible. My first lesson started last Monday. I walked to the pool and stood looking around aimlessly waiting for my swim instructor. After all, everyone looked way too young to not only teach me how to swim, but to hold my life in their hands. A young gentleman waved me over and asked, "Are you here for swim lessons?" I replied "Yes," guessing he could only be about 18 or 20 years old at the very oldest. He said, "Great, I'll be your swim instructor." Now's a great time to point out that not only does he look very young, he also freakishly resembles my step-brother. Would I really want to put my life into the hands of my step-brother?? I digress, I gave him a brief summary of my swimming history (or lack thereof). Meanwhile, the other student finally arrived. Just so happens, he's an ex-marine. Completely unfair, right? I agree. The instructor noticed very quickly that I was extremely tense, nervous, deathly afraid of the water. I spent the majority of the class getting more comfortable with the water and blowing bubbles under the water and learning how to stand the water. My Wednesday class was much of the same, BUT, I actually swam. Yes. After much coaching and repeating "It's just water," I finally found enough guts to put my head under water and swim. Wednesday ended on a good note, but my swimming chronicles got even better. By Saturday and Sunday, I was swimming in 5 feet of water. Too good to be true, huh? Of course. I'm not coordinated. AT ALL. The idea of kicking my legs and propelling myself forward is mind boggling.....especially while trying to breath. I spent the weekend trying to perfect the art and thankfully, I'm getting better....kind of....okay not really. Any tips for this uncoordinated BGR!?

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