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, I had my second lesson with Tabitha, my swimming instructor.  Last week, we spent the session on the different strokes.  This week, I wanted to concentrate on the prerequisites for the lifeguarding course.  My class starts on Sunday.  During the first class, I’ll have to swim 300 yards continuously, tread water for 2 minutes without using hands,and complete a timed event.  The timed event includes swimming 20 yards, diving down for a brick, retrieving it, then swimming on my back with the brick on my front back to the starting end of the pool.  The timed event ends with getting out of the pool without using the ladder or ramp.

I had never tried to dive for the brick before.  I was confident that I would be able to do this task, but knew that I needed some advice and practice.  Tabitha is great and I was able to watch her get the brick several times and she guided me through it.  After trying many times, I was able to get the brick on more than one occasion.

Toward the end of the lesson, we decided to have me try the timed event.  I was able to swim down, dive and retrieve the brick and get back to the start on my back in 1 minute, 37 seconds.  We have 1 minute, 40 seconds to complete the event.  I was thrilled that I was able to retrieve the brick on the first try after swimming 20 yards.

It dawned on me that the time probably includes getting out of the pool.  I’ve never got out of the pool without using the ladder or ramp.  We practiced in the deep and shallow ends today.  At the very end of the lesson, I was able to put it together and get out of the pool!  I was psyched!

I’m hoping for a bit more practice time on Friday.  I mostly don’t want to embarrass myself on Sunday when I’m in the formal class.  I’m confident that as long as I can complete the prerequisites, my instructor will be able to teach me the other lifeguarding skills needed to get certified.

I’m excited and can’t wait for our first class!


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.