“The Capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” - Brain Herbert

We often value the product or end result of learning, rather than thinking of learning as a continuous process that we all must continue to engage in to be our best. We believe that the best educators in any field are those who continue to push themselves to learn and grow. We could stop at just maintaining our lifeguard and CPR, First Aid/AED certifications and our current degrees. But do we really stay current with the best trends in water safety, instruction, student special needs and expanded services if as your instructors we do not further our education?

Since our opening on Jan 1, 2018, Miss Abby and Miss Kristen have both taken the Water Safety course/certification offered by OSHA, Fine Point Instruction offered by USSSA and attended numerous sessions at our conference including one about gentle survival swimming.

Miss Abby is currently furthering her education formally through university courses. Of course, as she studies the bones, ligaments, and muscles her knowledge can only help her swimmers as work on their technique. She is constantly sharing with Miss Kristen her new knowledge. As she continues in this area of medical course work we can only expect her knowledge to help us with any student that may have physical limitations/needs.

Miss Kristen has completed the Autism Awareness Certification and Aqua Fitness Certification. She is currently working on her Special Education Needs Certification. These certifications all allow Miss Kristen to adapt her teaching to student needs in a more effective way. The Aqua Fitness certification allows Miss Kristen to grow into an area she has always loved.

Why do we keep taking these classes? Good is not good enough. We want to know as much about each student’s situation as possible, to adapt and teach in the most effective way possible. We love our program but recognize that our learning more helps shape our program that only benefits our students. Instructors that fail to continue to learn are failing their students. Our continuous learning plan includes more university work for Miss Abby, along with Aqua Fitness for her this fall. Miss Kristen will work on more classes in the area of health concerns to help our students with limiting health conditions.

One of the most traumatizing movie scenes I saw as a child was the opening scene in Jaws. Where the woman takes a morning (or evening?!) dip in the ocean and the great white shark gets her and there is blood everywhere and she dies. That scene goes with the other infamous childhood scenes that made me have insomniac nights, such as: Jurassic Park, where the guy on the porta potty gets eaten by the T-rex. Or the scene in Chucky… really any scene in Chucky for me. But I digress, that scene in Jaws was one of the reasons I stopped swimming by myself in our backyard pool. And for good reason, here is why.

Even accomplished swimmers who have been swimming since birth are wary when swimming alone, that is because they know the risks that can happen to anyone. According to the Florida Department of Health, the last decade alone has seen a total 1,054 deaths from preventable drownings. And that is just in the state of Florida. Here are some of the risks, besides the obvious shark.

Very common one are cramps, of any kind. And I know what you are thinking, this only happens to the elderly. But it happened to me, when I was twenty-five. Luckily, I made it out of the ocean - I was at the beach - and just layed on the sand, paralyzed. I was so severely dehydrated and did not realize it until the last minute. Another blessing was that there were people nearby in case it got too serious. If I had stayed in the water though, that risk would have been greater. Which really just leads to any medical condition that arises when swimming.

Seizures, heart attacks, or even blunt force trauma that are unpreventable can happen when you are swimming. And when it does, you might as well be attacked by a shark - yes, I am overusing shark metaphors. We all think that it won’t happen to us, until it does.

So I realize that the last paragraph shows a better reason why you should not swim alone other than the “cramp” example, but that is only because the cramp one did happen to me and it was scary! This was just a tangent. I will move on.

Needless to say, I think you get the point, do not swim alone. You have heard a million times, and you are going to hear it at least a million and one times from me, do not swim alone. Every drowning is preventable and getting a swimming pal, swimming in a public place, or having a lifeguard nearby will reduce that risk. Happy swimming, and don’t get chomped.

New year, new you! Right? The doctor is on your back about your numbers, the blood pressure, the scale, the lipids, oh my! But the knees ache a bit, and the idea of getting on a bike is just a bit scary! Swimming you think, easy on the joints and great total body exercise. You hit the pool with all the proper equipment only find your strokes are a bit rusty and maybe you need a refresher course from an instructor, plus something feels a bit funny. Breathing is a bit harder than you remember. Floating feels different, and your legs don’t quite work the same.

So what’s going on here? As we age the water has a different impact on our bodies. As children, we tend not to notice the effect of hydrostatic pressure on body systems. Our diaphragms push up as we enter the water, making less room for our lungs to expand - this causes our breathing to change and become a bit more difficult in the water. So if you have a pulmonary condition, this is definitely something your instructor needs to know! Anyone with asthma, COPD, or any other type of chronic breathing impairment will want to work with their instructor to adapt their classes so they don’t tire too quickly.

What else is impacted in the water? Just about every body system! The cardiovascular system is forced to work a bit harder, and blood tends to pool toward the chest. So if you have a cardiac condition, please get clearance from your doctor first and communicate with your instructor. A trained and alert instructor will adapt your class to your condition and watch for signs of over-tiring or distress.

Other things we need to know - joint issues. If you have any knee, ankle, elbow, shoulder or other joint issues we need to know so we can help you stretch properly and work to increase flexibility. We are also looking to stop if pain occurs. Pain is your friend, it lets you know when we are doing too much.

Lastly, let us know if you have seizure disorders, fainting tendencies, or any other condition that may impact your health in the water. Safety is our biggest concern at all times. You should always get clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise routine, including swim lessons! Our trained staff is here to help you when you are ready to get swimming in 2020!

In the Naples, Bonita Springs, and Fort Myers, Florida area!
 Tel: (941)564-5140
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