So, we decided to throw Alfie in the deep end on Wednesday 5th September. Not only did he attend his first day of school, but we also managed to sign him up to start swimming lessons at Farnborough Leisure Centre. Two firsts in one day! I think he was more nervous about his swimming lesson than starting school. Firsts aside, I feel relieved that he is finally learning to swim and comforted to know that this is the right time for him to start to learn to swim because of his smiles and excitement about attending each weekly lesson!
I was a little nervous about his first lesson being the same day as him starting school and actually even considered not taking him until the following week. However, I was encouraged to take him as it was never going to be easy and at least by starting lessons in the first week in September most of the other kids in his lesson would also be new starters.
I made sure we had his swim bag packed the night before with the swimming essentials – trunks, towel, hat and goggles. I even remembered to add in a few snacks plus a water bottle. I asked him whether he was looking forward to his first lesson and to my surprise he seemed very excited.
I did think that this initial enthusiasm might fade after his first day of school but it didn’t, and he couldn’t wait for it to be 4.30pm and swim time!
At the ready with his hat and goggles on, we sat with him on poolside eagerly awaiting his lesson to start. We then met his swim teacher Janet, who shook his hand and commented on liking his swim shorts. With smiles he then started his swim lesson by sitting on the learning pool steps and tentatively putting his face in the water – something that Alfie has never been that keen on. He hates getting his face wet, be it in the bath, paddling pool or shower. However, something he now knows he needs to get used to if he’s going to be a swimmer.
I remind him that even Adam Peaty hated getting his face wet and being in the water as a child but look at him now!
Lesson time flew by. Most of the lesson time was spent practising swimming from one side of the pool to the other. Alfie spent most of the time with his feet firmly on the floor but with the swim teacher’s help and a woggle he tried his best to sort of swim a length by keeping his bum up and kicking his legs – especially with the aid of a woggle/float.
Considering this was his first lesson, I was just proud to see him in the water on his own without clinging on to the side of the pool for dear life. I was also very proud of him as there was no tears and lots of smiles.
At the end of the lesson the class again practised getting their faces/head in the water by playing a game of who can sit on the bottom of the pool for the longest! I was amazed to see Alfie have a good go at this!
Lesson over, I asked him how it went. “Good” he said “I just wish it had been for longer”.
So, it’s now been a few weeks since Alfie started swimming lessons and he is loving them. His confidence is growing each week and he’s now excited for Wednesdays – swimming lesson day. He keeps telling me that he knows how to swim now. But I keep telling him there is still lots to learn – especially if you want to rule the pool with mummy!