The Joy of Swimming

When I saw that BritMums were hosting a  Joy of Swimming Competition, sponsored by British Gas I just knew I had to take part, so here’s my entry

swimming

One of my first ever posts on my blog was entitled Baby Swimming an Amazing and Most Valuable Life Lesson. In this post I documented the importance of taking your baby swimming from an early ages and the benefits it has.

As a child I was born (in the 1970′s) without a ball joint in my hip and a shallow socket (DDH). I was a bit of a complicated and problematic case and the doctors recommended my mum took me swimming every day as it was the best form of exercise for me and would help to strengthen my muscles and potentially help a ball joint to form, without exerting too much pressure on my joints or young body.

My mum did exactly as the doctors ordered and took me swimming most days for a year and then continued to take me several times a week after that for years. The swimming did in fact help me, it didn’t correct everything but that is a whole different story, but it helped.

I absolutely LOVED going swimming, you could say I was a true water baby! The staff at the local leisure centre knew me well and I actually took my first steps in the cafe there when I was two years old. Once I could walk, there was no stopping me, I dragged my mum from the carpark to the changing rooms every time in total excitement!

The local press were interested in my story at the time and came to take pictures of my mum and I and this is a key memory I have so I thought I would share the picture they took with you. (Wasn’t I a cutie???)

swimming

Every year we would go on holiday to the Lake District too and the complex would have a swimming pool. I would drag my parents to the pool before we had even had chance to check in and we couldn’t leave without one last trip to the pool before we headed home (even if it meant soggy swimming costumes in the back of the car and the smell of chlorine all the way)! I was lucky enough to take my daughter to the same place for her first holiday last year and the first thing I did was take her swimming in true family tradition!

Over the years I have regularly taken part in Swimathon’s to raise money for charitable causes, the most recent being back in 2008 when I raised money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. My disability has deteriorated in recent years and gym work outs and walking any distance just aren’t possible so swimming remains the one thing I can do to keep fit as the water supports my body. If I were to win the lottery my one wish would be to be able to buy a house with a swimming pool, if I could do that I would swim morning and night and encourage my children to swim with me too. In fact, I think I may have a mermaid gene in me somewhere down the line!?

Needless to say, as you can see I am unbelievably pro swimming, (as my previous post shows). I had my daughter signed up to a local WaterBabies class before she was even born and we started the lessons at 6 months! To watch my daughter swim under water for the  first time was incredible, and I was thrilled when she mastered the life-saving hold on technique whiich would enable her to hold on to the side of a pool should she fall in.

swimming

I think teaching children to have confidence in the water and overall, teaching them to swim, is one of the most valuable life lessons and skills that you can give to them and I would recommend taking your child swimming from an early age to anyone. My previous post has a lot of links to research and stats regarding the benefits of swimming, it highlights how it can help children’s development potential in later life, their balance and obviously safety and life saving aspects of reducing the chances of drowning so please do take the time to have a read.

If this wasn’t motivation enough for you, as part of their support for British Swimming British Gas are offering everyone the chance to enjoy free swims and a range of other exciting activities this summer. Just hop on over to their site to find out what activities are on offer in your area.

Comments

  1. Im so glad you wrote this! Ive been thinking about taking Bambina to AquaTots as she absolutely loves the swimming baths but im not sure if she’s too old (10months) to start?? I thought they had to be very young. I’ll give them a call, you’ve inspired me! Lovely post from a lovely lady, thank you :-) xx

  2. Swimming is a great sport and I’ve written a whole collection of poetry about it! :) Must put out an e-book! Soon.

  3. My eldest started swimming lessons at 3 months. My youngest started swimming at 3 months but doesn’t have lessons because living in Singapore, we are lucky enough to swim every day, so I am teaching her for the minute.

    I agree it’s a hugely important life skill

    http://www.21stcenturymummy.com/2012/05/02/the-water-babies/

  4. What a lovely story to share!

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