Swimming is my choice
Do you think that all children today have a chance to swim? Who are those who actually do swim? What does swimming give and what does it take? If I make a mistake, how can I move on with swimming? What comes after swimming? What does swimming teach us? These are the questions I like to make to the children who come to swim and their parents at the pool, and I often make them to myself. The answers and opinions are so different. They motivate us to swim and think.
These are my guides to future swimmers which I often remind them of once they take a rest at the pool’s edge. They are also the tips I give to my children before they jump into to pool and start swimming, just to make them think about swimming (no matter if they are only five or four years old, and no matter if they’ve been in the water ever since they were four months old).
A guide to swimming: 9 tips for future swimmers
1. Not all children have an access to swimming. Don’t look at me like that. It is true. Many children simply don’t develop this skill while they are little. Why? There are plenty of reasons, for example not having a pool nearby, or if they do, the pools are closed for some reasons.
But there is good news about it!
To learn how to swim, you don’t need to have a pool in your backyard, on the roof of your house, or have a river or a lake nearby, or the sea which is a short car ride away from your home.. all you need is the willingness to find one, even if it is miles away.
2. Swimming is not a seasonal activity. It sounds crazy, but who swims in winter and when there is all that slush in the streets? Not all of us have those nice weather condition all the time. Yes, but still, that face expression you have. When the one half of the Earth has summer, the other one has winter. A season does not define the good time for swimming. Yes, it can get pretty cold sometimes, while on the other hand, it can get pretty hot too. But the question is quite simple: What is it that you want? Do you want to swim, play, enjoy the water or do you want to look for excuses?
Swimming is a life skill needed by all children, not only in summer months, but 365 days a year.
3. Swimming gives, but swimming also takes. What do you mean? Once you learn how to swim, you can do anything, but don’t be too proud. I know you now feel much safer in the water than your friends. But with water you are never too safe. There can always be a wave which can crush you down when you least expect it. So, every swimmer needs another pair of eyes on his back. Be aware of what is under the water and on the surface. I’m not telling you this to scare you, but to make you think twice about these things. Stay wise as you’re swimming. As once something bad happens it can be too late.
Respect the water and the rules it brings. Swim. Protect yourself, so that you could save the others.
4. Be yourself while swimming. How? You will learn more about that later. Embrace it. Believe that in swimming, as well as in life, nobody else can be you. Every change in the manner of entering and leaving the water will help you realise what it is that you want. It’s not a big deal if you have to wait for it a bit longer.
There are more than a million ways of telling you that you’re not good at swimming. Listen carefully. Give it a thought. Make your qualities visible, jump into the pool and swim more, swim harder. Only through swimming will you turn you pain into love, end into beginning, darkness into light. Don’t look at others. There will always be those who are better than you, but you should be better for yourself. So, always swim for yourself and your family. You won’t make a mistake.
Authenticity is a priceless gift, even in swimming.
5. As you’re swimming, you are becoming mature and you will see the world with different eyes. There will be moments in swimming when you will face serious challenges. It is important not to give up even when the things get hard. When you get stranded, think of it as a privilege. Shake a leg and keep on swimming. Those moments will shape you as a swimmer, with a strong spirit, good heart and mentally pleased. A swimmer who can swim “up hill and down dale” and up to the stars if necessary.
Don’t worry if the water you’re swimming in is a bit turbid. Those are things you can’t control. What matters is the thing you have in your mind and swimming, and you should also believe that you can do it. Growing up with swimming is a creative process. Be a part of it.
6. Swimming with sharks is not uncommon. There are many swimmers who will get into the water with you. Some of them as a blessing, and some of them as a burden. You should know whom to let swim next to you, in front of you, and behind you. Sometimes, it will be better to leave the pool for a while and observe the others swimming. You’ll see, it’s not easy. It is important to recognise the moment and make a break. It’s not a rocket science. Your swimming sense will help you recognise the sharks. On the other hand, if the pool’s doors are closed, don’t peep through the keyhole. Take it as a new chance, not as something tragic just because you won’t be swimming today.
The water doesn’t have to be turbid all the time… so, let it go and swim!
Your swimming experience can get you to a completely different path, a path to loving yourself, self-realisation and self-respect. Be ready for that. Sometimes it will get hard, but in the end, you will love it. Your eyes are telling me that you have no idea what I’ve been telling you!
7. Top swimmers also used to fear the water, but they have overcome that fear. I’m not scared of the water. I know. But there will be moments in swimming which will send shivers down to your spine. If you are scared then, it’s not a big deal to admit it to yourself. Trust in water and swimming will get back. Try to find a person you trust then and swim together. At those moments it’s crucial that you’re not alone.
Just don’t give up on swimming.
8. What after swimming? Swimming may not make you famous. And it might not bring you to the world you’ve been dreaming of. If you don’t reach the ocean first, you’ll have the chance to grow… Don’t get disappointed.
Swimming will certainly make you realise new things. Embrace them. Actually, the more you learn through swimming, the more you will realise how much you are yet to learn even when you’re not swimming. Let swimming be your compass about knowledge, joy, love and all those other things which make you feel a better person, both in the water and next to it. Enjoy every single stroke you make and breath you take.
And of course, don’t give up on your swimming dreams.
9. Have you met the person responsible for your choices in swimming? Have you met the person who is responsible for all your swimming awards, marks, achievements, criticism, nice and harsh words, and actions? Not yet? Take a mirror, say each of these words and look in front of you. Who do you see? Yes, you are the one who is responsible for all the things you want and don’t want. Take the responsibility and the steering wheel taking you to the open sea.
I can see that you still think I’m talking nonsense.. You don’t need to get it all. What you need to do is to know how to swim my little boy! Let it be your choice, only yours.
Life is more beautiful when you’re swimming!