Millions of adult Americans - by some estimates over 30 Million, cannot swim. Many of these non-swimmers were raised by non-swimming parents who unknowingly pass on their fears of swimming onto their children.
Some may have had a near drowning experience, and since that time, kept a safe distance from the water. For many, economic or cultural differences kept them from enjoying the sport of swimming.
For some kids, (and adults) self-perception of appearance in a swimsuit was enough to keep them out of the water.
In 2009, the American Red Cross conducted a Water Safety Poll. This pool poll had many questions about water recreation. One question in particular asked "How well can you swim?"
1/3 of respondents rated their swimming skills as Fair, Poor or Cannot Swim at All. This is an alarming statistic, and not just from a personal or public safety perspective. Non-swimmers are missing out on a world of fun, family, fitness and friendship in various water sports and activities.
Children from non-swimming households are eight times as likely to be at-risk of drowning.
Is it easy for adults to learn how to swim? Probably not, just as learning a language as an adult is more difficult than as a child. But it can be done. Stewart Rainey, Pool Operator at Forest Pool in N.C., teaches an adult learn to swim program. "The biggest hurdle is actually a psychological one. The mechanics of swimming are simple and easy to learn. What we must un-learn is the fear of the water....Years of Fears." Mr. Rainey added that "...another factor is simply some embarrassment at being an adult learner, or embarrassment of getting into a bathing suit."
Learning to Swim as an Adult can be:
1. Fun & Healthy & Social.
2. You may save a life (it may be yours).
3. Great Exercise for all the parts of your body.
You can find adult swimming lessons at pools such as:
2. Community Pools
3. Sport & Health Clubs
4. Recreation Centers
5. High School or College pools.
Or, if your state requires lifeguards at Hotel Pools, you may be able to strike up a deal for a lesson plan. ;-)
Stewart Rainey told us that "Most adults can learn basic swimming skills in as little as 2-3 lessons....but many want to continue to learn," he told me. Lessons usually run $25 or more. For those interested in donating to or applying for swim lesson tuition grants, see the good people at Make a Splash.
If you're thinking about learning to swim as an adult, watch the video above. And if you don't look so hot in a swimsuit, well, neither do the rest of us. Once you're in the pool, it's all underwater anyway. So, give it a try! Learn to Swim - you'll be glad you did!