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Swimming- A Fun Family Aerobic Exercise
I Have Loved The Water!
When I was four years old, my parents had the opportunity to join a recreational park. We had to drive all the way out into the countryside (which it was back in the 1960's) to get there. As a little girl, I believed it was very far away. My brothers and I (ages four, five, and six) piled into the backseat of my Daddy's sedan in our new swimming suits to go to the park. Not only were there two swimming pools, yet also a kiddie pool, a man made lake for row boats and ducks, and it was next to a golf course.
I had a cute little bathing cap to cover my long black hair which Mommy always pulled up into a bun. Nowadays, you don't see any children wearing this kind of cap that I had on, which was pink and white with little pink and white flower shaped tassels, and a little chin strap. I didn't want to go into the kiddie pool, I wanted to go into the big person's pool. I remember Mom, who really did not like to swim, show me to hold on to the side and kick my legs. My brothers and I had life saver rings on. The only other thing I remember is that my cousin, B.D., who was at that time, maybe around the age of twelve, cupping his hands in the water to show me, only to squirt water into my face. From that point on, he was my favorite boy cousin.
SWIMMING LESSONS IN SCHOOL
When I entered school that same year in September, I was early admittance to the First Grade because I was able to read and count my numbers. I was so excited to find out that my school included Swimming as a physical education requirement, and yes, I was excited that they had an indoor Olympic size pool! So at the age of 4 years and 9 months, I was going to get my first swimming lessons. From this experience, I remember the navy blue heavy cotton one piece bathing suit and the tight ugly white bathing cap that I had to wear.
Every year, I would learn more about the different kinds of swimming strokes. Free style, Breast Stroke, Side Stroke, Back Stroke, and the hardest one of all, the Butterfly Stroke. And then we had to learn how to do the Dead Man's Float in the water. I did not enjoy this because the swimming instructor would time how long how long we could hold our breath face down in the water. As a little girl, I thought it was interesting how one could open the eyes under water, and when I learned how to swim across the width of the pool, I saw the importance of that. My favorite swimming stroke in the water is the Breast Stroke. It made sense to me to lift your head out of the water looking forward rather turn your head to the side, as done in the Free Style form. Although now I know, for fitness and exercise purposes, I see that the free style stroke is most beneficial for the cardiac work out.
A NEW SUMMER POOL TO SWIM IN
At the age of six, my family had moved to a new neighborhood and we joined another swimming club. This place was not as exciting as the other park we had gone to. This one was so close, we could walk or ride our bikes to it. My older brother, D.A., was more talented in the water than I was. His swimming skills came so naturally even at the age of eight years, that he joined the swim team for his age group that summer. He was like the "Mark Spitz" of the family. I did not want to be left out. So I tried out for the swim team for my age group.
As a member of the swim team, I had to learn how to swim in the deep end of the pool and I had to learn how to dive. I was not scared of the water at all. In the trials for the swim meets, which were really competitions, we had to swim multiple laps length wise of the pool, and we were being timed as well. How strenuous it was to my little body! I could not make it to the end because all my little muscles were cramping up. The length of the pool was 35 yards long and the the typical distance the girls in my age group, age 7-8, was to swim 25 meters. My brother loved the swim team so much that he won trophies year after year. He became quite good. I guess I was just trying to be like him.
SWIMMING AT THE BEACH
In my youth, every summer, my parents took us to the the beach where we had access to swimming in the motel pools and even in the ocean waters. Of course, swimming in the ocean waters is not the same. It is just basically floating in with the waves as they roll into shore. I was always kept close to my mom's side since going deep was not safe, at least in my Mommy's eyes. My oldest brother, as he got older, became bolder, challenging himself to go in over his head. I heard a story of him going out so far that the life guard had to rescue him. No one ever lost their breath or consciousness in the ocean high tide, Thanks to God.
In my teen years, going to the ocean still continued to be fun. At this age, I was never really interested in swimming with the ocean tide as much as I enjoyed the sunbathing and digging in the sand. Salt water in the eyes, being stung by jellyfish or being bit by sand crabs probably is what discouraged me. It was great that everywhere my Daddy booked us had a swimming pool. Traditional swimming was what I had learned, and I wanted to practice every chance I got.
SWIMMING IS GREAT FITNESS
For those of you who are interested in staying in shape and keeping those muscles limber, and keeping strong, swimming or doing aerobic exercise in the water is wonderful. A lot of older people who have never had a swimming lesson have found enjoyment in aerobic water exercise . All fitness clubs that have swimming pools, the local YMCA or YWCA organizations will offer these kind of classes. I am sure all over the globe at resorts and in the metropolitan areas that offer Fitness Clubs will offer swimming or aerobic water fitness. It is very healthy and a great way to decrease heart conditions and arthritis conditions. When one is in the water, the body becomes weightless and movement in the water is no stress on the joints. When my time frees up, I have a desire to participate in this activity. And to any of you reading this that participate already in water sports and swimming and aerobics in water, I congratulate those who choose a healthy and fun way to keep fit.
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