Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Little Swimmer

If you recall in a blog I wrote earlier in the summer, Sara Kate was scared of the pool (around the middle of June).  She didn't want to get off the steps.  Then a couple weeks after that she got brave and was swimming all over the pool with floaties.  By July 4th weekend she was going off the diving board like a champ (with floaties) and wasn't scared at all.  I was thrilled with her progress.  I knew she needed swim lessons, and she started them second week of July.  Last year she did them at the Fayetteville city pool, but this year we decided to go with semi-private lessons at the Fayetteville Athletic Club.  It was Monday-Thursday for 30 minutes each day and it was $80.  And I can honestly say it was the best $80 I spent all summer!  In fact week 1 went so well, I signed her up for a second week of lessons and my mom was kind enough to foot the bill for week 2.  And again, I think it was the best $80 spent!!
The first week was spent mostly with the instructor working on getting Sara Kate to use her arms.  The little boy with her in class had taken a couple of weeks of lessons and he was more advanced than her.  I think it was great for Sara Kate to be able to see what he could do.  They would swim from the lane rope to the side, back and forth, back and forth, with their teacher working hard on getting Sara Kate to use her arms.  My mom made me realize why she wasn't using her arm...she said it was because Sara Kate never had to use her arms when she would wear floaties.  Made perfect sense.
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One big thing she learned in week 1 was how to tread water.  I am SO glad she learned this skill, and she picked it up very quickly.
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Another thing they worked on was back floating, but Sara Kate was having NONE of that.  She was afraid and didn't want for her teacher to let go of her.
That weekend we went to a friends pool to work on her new skills.  She still wasn't doing very well at using her arms, but she was able to swim her way across the pool, which I was very impressed by.
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Week 2 started out with a BANG!!  All of a sudden Sara Kate learned she can swim with her face in the water!!  And she started using her arms!  I was SO proud of her!  Once again, she was paired with a little boy who was slightly more advanced than her.  I don't know if that was part of her deciding to swim with her face in the water or what, but semi-private lessons were amazing for that reason!
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After that, everything seemed to click.  She also decided that she was just fine floating on her back by herself!!  In fact, she loved floating on her back.
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After day 1 of week 2, they moved out of the lap pool and into the big open pool.  This gave the kids more of an opportunity to really swim, and I think it made a huge difference for Sara Kate.  She was using her arms, putting her face in the water to swim, and she even figured out how to come up for a breath and put her face back in the water to continue swimming.
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 By the end of the second week, she had made SO much progress.  A couple weeks later we went swimming again at a friends pool and she swam the length of the pool by herself.  I can't say it enough, I am just SO proud of her progress this summer.
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Since my surgery is Friday, we went swimming for the last time yesterday.  I love watching her splash around having so much fun.  I'm such a water person, I love swimming with her.  There's no rest and relaxation time at the pool when you have a little one with no flotation device, but it's ok.  I do not want her to be afraid of the water, and I want her to love it as much as I do.  I think we're on the right track!  I'm also SO thankful to our friends who let us crash their pools all summer.  THANK YOU Morton's and Brawners!! :-)

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