I had my swim lesson with Tabitha today.  For the first half, we practiced the breaststroke.  I’m finally starting to get it.  There are really only 4 steps:  Pull, Breathe, Kick, and Glide.  I seem to be much better when I remember to do the steps independently of each other.  For the longest time, I was trying to pull and kick at the same time.  Now, I just need to keep practicing.  I’m hopeful that it will become easier over time.  For the lifeguarding class, I don’t need to swim the breaststroke.  But, if I go on to take WSI (Water Safety Instructor), I’ll need to swim 50 yards of each stroke as part of the prerequisites.

I can do the backstroke, elementary backstroke, crawl and almost breaststroke so far.  Today, I felt like it was time to be introduced to the butterfly stroke.  My instructor hates the butterfly.  I can see why.  It’s a very awkward stroke.  After some examples and a bit of instruction, I attempted the kick.  There was laughter all around.  By the time my lesson ended, I felt a bit familiar with the stroke.  I certainly think I’ll need to work on it more.  I’ll also need to build endurance to be able to complete 50 yards.  It’s a rather aggressive stroke.

I have one more lesson scheduled for next week.  Unless there are lifeguarding skills to practice, we’ll probably work on the butterfly.


Today was my 3rd swim lesson with Tabitha.  She asked me what I wanted to focus on.  I told her the breaststroke.  I really need help with this stroke.

I don’t think the breaststroke is required for lifeguarding, but it seems to be a go to stroke for so many people.  I feel like I need to learn it.  When I watch people do the stroke, it looks so effortless and comfortable.

I feel like I look like a mess when I do the stroke.  I can do the kick.  I can do the arms.  I can’t seem to put them together at the right pace.  It doesn’t seem to help that I’m a floater.  When I do the kick, my feet end up out of the water.  ARGH!  I really need more practice.

At one point, Tabitha said that I wasn’t the worst she had ever seen.  Hmmm… I’m not sure if that was comforting.  I am determined.  We spent the entire 30 minute lesson on the breaststroke.  I finished the lesson knowing that I really need to practice it more.

I should have worked on the stride jump, but the J pool really isn’t a great pool for it due to the shallower depth in the deep end.  In addition, we really didn’t have open space for it due to the lap swimmers, class and casual pool users.

I warmed up with a few surface dives and ended with getting out of the water without the use of the ladder.

I’m not sure what I will work on next.  Part of me wants to spend time practicing the breaststroke and part of me wants to work on endurance.  I know I can swim 300 yards, but a 500 yard swim will be required to work at the J.  I’m pretty sure that I can do it, but I haven’t done it in years.  Maybe if the lanes are not too crowded Friday, I’ll swim 500 yards.


With the start of the lifeguarding class just a couple of weeks away, I decided a few swim lessons were in order.  I want to get my strokes up to speed and practice the prerequisites so I don’t make a fool out of myself during the class.

My first lesson was yesterday.  My instructor’s name is Tabitha and she is AWESOME.  My first task was to swim a few yards of the freestyle stroke.  She told me that my stroke wasn’t bad.  Then, we discussed my stroke and she gave me some tips/suggestions/reminders.


  • breathe out of my nose
  • alternate sides for breathing
  • kick from the hip
  • bring my feet up more toward the surface of the water
  • make sure my elbows are getting out of the water

Even after just a few minutes of practice, my stroke was so much more smooth and efficient.  I’m excited to practice and get better at the stroke.

Next up was the breast stroke.  This segment was hilarious because I barely remembered the breast stroke.  I really need to work on this stroke.  My kick was so bad that I was going backwards while I demonstrated it!  After some trial and error, I was able to do the stroke a little bit, but I really need to work on it.

We touched briefly on the elementary backstroke, which I can do just fine and the backstroke, which I didn’t remember doing before.

All in all, I was super happy with the progress that I made in just 30 minutes.  I can’t wait for some pool time so I can practice before my next lesson.

Next week, we’re going to spend most of the time on lifeguarding skills.  I really want to nail all of the prerequisites.  Hopefully, we’ll have time to work on the strokes during that lesson as well.