Being 40+…Chronicles of a 4 week swimming course in 3-digit weather & humidity BLISS

(let me catch my breath)

A little backstory…

Water and the pool it was in was never a problem for me, I was practically born in a pool….OK, no, I was in a pool at a very young age, I was even part of swimming competitions when I was 8…being in water was so natural to me growing up. We were members of a local club where my friends and I would spend the whole Summer learning to perfect our swimming styles and have fun (skin cancer, SPF were on no one’s minds). Every child I knew played confidently in the pools, except my sister. she had to take private lessons, I suppose she learned, I’ve never really talked about it, I just remember her resistance and my mother’s will to have her learn, she desisted from wanting her to be part of the team, all my mom wanted was for my sister to be able to defend herself if there was ever a swimming mishap…Now I get it, in the end THAT’S ALL WE WANT…

photo 3 (7)

NOW I am the mom, no club membership, two children who were born manifesting complete and absolute disdain for water and the pool it may be in (they do bathe – every day 🙂 -, and they beg for me to let them fill up the tub…)


Oh how I dreaded this day and was able to avoid it using my children’s resistance as a perfectly valid excuse: She/He doesn’t want to go in the pool and I think we should ‘respect’ that, she/he may be too young, we wouldn’t want to cause any psychological-emotional “trauma”- a phobia, if you will…I hate this overly dramatic view, though, honestly I was afraid of pushing too hard too soon and have it backfire….anyway, I tried at age 4 for the first time:

Sofía did well, despite all the fighting to get her ready, on the ride there, when getting her out of the car, when getting her in the pool; after a month she learned TO FLOAT :/

Pablo…threw up inside the pool on the first day of class, long story short, super short…

SWIMMING LESSONS… take two…cut

Another Summer, another try…

Sofía went into this phase of extreme self-consciousness (btw, does it ever end?!) and “hated being the oldest in class” , of course only to be worse next year :/ dropped out…

Pablo had his share of  ‘trauma’ so his participation ended before it started… I stopped insisting


I convinced myself that I had to do this: it will be hot, you will sweat, they will learn, 1 month, four 4 day weeks, 16 days, so much to win, a few pounds to lose (or just plain die of dehydration)


Is it possible to feel empathy for both sides…my eyes welled up at watching the little girl, about 8, crying and asking her mother to forgive her but she did not want to get in the pool…OMG, how it brought back memories, though not of me not wanting to go in the pool, but of me not wanting to stay at a party where I knew no one…and then looking at the mom, so angry and disappointed, a bit ashamed of her daughter’s crying in front of the rest of the parents, she had to control herself and still be firm, she could have left but she had already paid, so she turned her back to her daughter while the girl held on to her leg… been there-done that-hate it…many children cried that first day and I could have cried right along with them…MY CHILDREN HELD THEIR HEADS UP AND GOT IN THE POOL LOOKING AT ME AND FAKING A SMILE, I appreciate that sooooo much


Pablo soon started to show how much he was enjoying this, so much so that he’d let go of the side of the pool, I almost jumped in, but I decided to look the other way, though my heart did take a dive…there I decided to read my way through these heart attack inducing moments, but my book got all wet, from sweat and pool water that splashed out and my iPad got so hot I think it might have had a heart attack itself…SOFÍA AND PABLO DEVELOPED A NEW SENSE OF CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES…a milestone and something new to get used to


Seeing that our children were doing so well and liking it so much, my husband suggested they continue for another month, I almost fainted… my inner voice shouted inside my head: Hey, this was a one month deal…you go sweat your make-up off! He doesn’t wear make-up, I answered back…whatever, said my inner voice, we are not going!… “Well, honey, let’s see how we finish this month and then we’ll talk about the next one”, is what came out of my mouth…good save said my rattled inner voice…and I put a paper bag over my head to remedy my situation. PICK YOUR BATTLES, I always say!


“Mom, did you see me cross the pool?” “Yes, sweetheart!””Can I tell you something?!””Sure, go ahead…””I think I want to keep swimming and maybe compete one day in the near future, I really liked how it felt to go all the way across the pool” “OK, wow, cool” HIGH-FIVE  TO MYSELF, my daughter has expressed the possibility of her liking this…and I survived

16 days…

I have no idea if I lost any weight but I did gain two confident children that can do more than float…


9 responses to “Being 40+…Chronicles of a 4 week swimming course in 3-digit weather & humidity BLISS

  1. Pingback: BEING 40+…and a “CRY BABY” | ACT. REACT. or just THINK about it!·

  2. Perdoncito, pero me dio mucha risa…así le pasó al Pablo cuando platico que vomitó…lo agarró la instructora y lo sumergió sin decirle más, el otro tragó media alberca y paso seguido LA REGRESÓ + LO QUE HABÍA COMIDO Y DESAYUNADO… horrible…de ahí no quiso saber nada de albercas hasta que nos fuimos a México y no le quedó de otra por que allá deporte era NATACIÓN :/ que importante es el TIMING y SER SENSIBLES a los sentimientos de los niños… love you back sweetheart 🙂

  3. Me acordé cuando en Nogales tenia yo unos 5 y mi hermana 2. Inseparable a mi. Yo estaba sentadita en la orilla de la alberca esperando mi turno con el maestro… y te aventaba… La de las clases era yo. Pero el maestro vio a la metiche de mi hermana alli enseguida y la avento tambien… Preguntame CUANDO VOLVIO LA MICHELE A CLASES??? jejejeje… love you friend..

  4. Jejejeee… Thank you Comadre 🙂 showing no resistance on their part was key for us finishing this, it was very tempting when the temps were at their highest to stay home, but they were ready almost an hour before it was time, I could not disappoint them, besides not wanting to sweat seemed like a dumb excuse now 🙂 love you sister

  5. Very proud! They have it in them to be natural swimmers, but more importantly, you gave them an essential life skill. One day not too far from now they will be so grateful you insisted. Bravo Comadre! And i love the swimsuits.

  6. Viveka, thank you for saying this about my writing, I’ve been told i hurry through my stories, that i could “milk it” a bit more, but I AM ALWAYS IN A HURRY, with a time limit for posting so your kind words mean a lot to me 🙂 In the end I was only the means, I was their ride there, the rest was their own doing…it has been amazing watching them and a true learning moment from seeing the other families there 🙂

  7. Wonderful … I could see and feel all the frustration around this swimming adventure … Love the way you tell (write) your stories. Very cool ending too – it’s all about letting go when you feel for it … and not when mom or dad wants too. To take that decision all by yourself, what a priceless feeling for a kid.

  8. Gentle perseverance is the key. I didn’t learn to swim until I was 9 – and the whole getting changed (nude) in front of other boys made me hate it. I grew to love it and at 3 months introduced my own daughter to the pool. She never looked back and became a complete fish. 🙂

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