Ok so back story: I. Cant. Swim.
When I was 5, I almost drowned and was saved by a cute lifeguard [that is where my love for white men started] with blue eyes and blond hair. If you were working at the Avondale quarry back in the early 1990’s….thanks for saving my life.
Ok so ever since that moment, I have had a fear of drowning for 30 years. I am that person at the pool that will just chill on the side and never go below 3 ft because I was scared I would slip and drown. Like my fear of drowning is REAL.
Then my friend Ashley Barnhart had a birthday party for her son at safesplash swim school and everything changed. My kids and husband got into the pool and were having the time of their lives. My friend and I were talking about how we should take lessons because I can't swim and she doesn't swim well. That was when I offered a free swim lesson to test it out. And let's be honest, they had me at FREE!
DAY OF LESSON
You remember that Eminem song with the lyrics that go “Yo! His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. There's vomit on his sweater already: Mom's spaghetti”
THAT. WAS. ME!!!!
I have never been so nervous IN MY LIFE. I contemplated writing out a will JUST IN CASE I drowned in the 3.5 feet of water. Dont judge, it's all facts. I kissed my kids goodbye in case I never saw them again. I swear a tear rolled down my cheek. My husband laughed at me...he’s a jerk. Driving up I was listening to some Little Mix to get myself pumped up. Yeah I should have listened to The Little Mermaid soundtrack or Moana.
I walk in and I am shaking. Like you ever drink too much coffee and not enough water and you have the shakes...like that. “This is it”, I thought…”Death by swimming lesson in water that is shorter than my kids”. I am greeted by the owner and his wife. These are people that I swear I would be friends with in real life. Like they are SOOO COOL AND FUN! Like wait till this pandemic is over, cause I'm inviting them to happy hour! I got a swim cap, waived to my instructor inside the pool area and got ready to jump in.
Yeah that is a lie...what actually happened is that I got my swim cap, went to the bathroom to put it on and say a last minute prayer.
“Dear God, what have I gotten myself into. If you let me live, I will go to church every Sunday once this pandemic is over. Amen”
I don't get along with a lot of people...and it's hard to take instruction from people younger than me. I don't know, it's an ego thing. But I met my instructor in the pool area and put my ego aside and got in the water. My instructor's name is Sunaz and I love her. Like in my head we’re best friends and if she ever has kids, I am going to give her a New Bae Box from my shop! She was so patient with me and helped me get comfortable in the water.
She started at the beginning. Just put your chin/lips in. Sounds easy enough, right. WRONG! I felt the tightness in my chest the more down I bent my legs. As the water lever rose, I felt like I was going to drown. She kept reassuring me that I was going to be ok and praised me when I did something. Is this how Bexley feels when I praise her when she does good with school? I felt so empowered and like I could do anything.
“Ok I want you to humm and put your face in so that you blow bubbles out of your nose”
Insert your favorite “wait, what” gif
You want me to do what with my nose, BLOW BUBBLES? Oh she is tripping. This is how I am going to die. I am going to blow bubbles, then inhale and lights out. But I can't let her see me sweat [and legit I was sweating] so I tried it. And kept going and going. Next thing I know I felt like I was a mermaid blowing bubbles, humming and shit. At that moment, you couldn’t tell me nothing. And with every bubble that came out of my nose I would hear “Good Job, look at you, You’re Doing Great” and my ego got bigger and bigger. Then I inhaled some water and came back to reality...but I never gave up.
Next she had me on this bench type thing and wanted me to have my hands on the bench, lift my legs and go facedown in the water and keep blowing bubbles. At this moment I thought “SHE IS TRIPPIN!” Y'all I have metal in my back..my black ass is about to sink to the bottom of this pool and she's gonna have to save me. I'm about to embarrass the shit outta myself. But I am here, might as well try it. So I did. I got into a plank stance and put my face down in the water and hummed. First few times my legs would sink and as I got closer to the water, I would freak out and hold my breath resulting in me not humming. She reassured me that I was doing ok and helped me try again. She even taught me a trick on how to float. I had to point my feet and my legs would automatically float.
Ok, so now I'm floating as I am planking and trying to psych myself out of my anxiety. And then the unimaginable happened. I DIED.
Just kidding, obviously. But I did it. I hummed, put my face down, had my legs floating and blew bubbles.
“OMG YOU GO GIRL. LOOK AT ME” she said. At this moment I did the famous Beyoncé hair flip even though I was wearing a swim cap lol. I did this a few more times and the more I did it, the comfier I got. I got so comfortable with it towards the end and breathed in some water but I survived. It was the best 30 minutes of my life.
So I definitely signed up to do more lessons and I will be going every Thursday at 6:45pm. This is something that I have been wanting to do but never actually took the plunge to do it. My husband said he would try and help me swim but it would never work. I would end up kicking him and then he would divorce me and it would be messy. But if you are in the Columbus, OH area and are looking for adult swim lessons, definitely check out SafeSplash and tell them I sent you!
Oh yeah, one more thing
I was not the only adult there getting lessons that evening. There was 3 other adults there getting lessons. You are not alone! I also ran into this QUEEN on the way out with bomb lashes and she gave me the hook up!