I hated going to swimming lessons when I was little. I didn’t like holding my breath, treading water always just felt like drowning in slow motion, and more than a few tears were shed over jumping off the diving board. Why did it have to be so high?
But today’s swim lesson was nothing like that. I didn’t cry once, I stayed afloat the whole time, and I didn’t hold my breath. Apparently, I quickly learned, I never should’ve been holding my breath in the first place!
I guess I always just associated going under water with holding your breath, but according to my personable instructor, Krysta, you’re actually supposed to breathe and blow out bubbles, so that your body gets oxygen. That blew my mind. And the hits just kept on coming.
When you float on your back you are supposed to keep your chin up to keep your back in line. Similarly when you float on your stomach you are supposed to tuck your chin in for the same reason. I was soon floating better than I ever have.
When you kick, it should be with the whole leg, not just from the knee, and your toes should be pointed. All of a sudden I could swim like nine times faster than I ever could before.
I don’t know if I just didn’t pay attention when I was a kid, perhaps too busy trying not to cry, but in minutes I learned more from Krysta about swimming than I ever did taking lessons growing up.
As the lesson progressed, she was extremely accommodating. She helped me work on putting my face in the water and breathing to the side, without filling my lungs with water in the process. Her tips on how to better tread water were both practical and effective.
A schoolteacher by day, Krysta is an incredible instructor. She thoughtfully answered my every question and was eager to work with me to address my specific concerns and problem areas. She has worked with young children to older adults at all swimming levels and as a result, has a tremendously versatile repertoire of teaching techniques. She’s worked with people to perfect their stroke, and has helped others who were afraid to even touch the water. Every lesson is tailored to your needs, your goals, and even your learning style.
But the biggest thing she did for me was make the whole experience enjoyable. She is incredibly personable and easygoing, and we laughed the entire time. I was telling her about how much I enjoyed Zumba when she said she only knows how to square dance because it’s in the BC curriculum for phys ed from grade six to twelve. Apparently every year around Christmas time her school got together and had a “Ho-ho-ho-down.” That blew my mind a second time.
I guess going into the day I was somewhat optimistic because everyone has been so great at the GAC, but this experience was truly next level. If you don’t know how to swim at all or if you just want to get better, go see Krysta. In no time at all, she made me a way better swimmer, and made swimming way better. If you’re looking for a more awesome instructor, I wouldn’t hold your breath—apparently that’s just good advice.
Visit this page for more information on private or semi-private swim lessons with our excellent instructors.
This post was written by Steele Roddick for the Glendon Athletic Club, as part of his #GACFitnessFeb challenge. Steele is trying something new at the GAC every day for the month of February. Follow his daily posts to read about his adventure in fitness and see all that the GAC has to offer!