Personal stories: Denver
Fitness instructor Denver was the first to volunteer for Aqua Jogging and Aqua Circuit training courses at his leisure centre in Lewisham. But when he found out they involved him being in the water as well, he had to admit he couldn’t swim.
Denver had gone through life without learning to swim and had no intention of changing.
He categorically refused to take part in any of the aquatic components of his training at the leisure centre in Lewisham.
However, as a young man interested in body building, he excelled at fitness and the weight elements.
As part of an Everyday Swim intervention to develop the aquatic workforce and opportunities in Lewisham, Aqua Jogging and Aqua Circuit training was offered to dry side staff.
As a keen fitness instructor, Denver volunteered immediately to take part in the course as to him they didn’t appear to involve ‘swimming’ so he believed he would benefit from and enjoy this fitness training opportunity.
Imagine Denver’s surprise when on the first afternoon he was asked to get changed into his swim kit!
He was not expecting the course to involve him getting into the pool and it was only at this point that he admitted that he was frightened of the water.
But Denver challenged himself. Determined to pass the course and with support from tutors and colleagues Denver ventured into the water using the flotation aids available.
Even on his first session made it to the deep end of the pool.
Despite a fear of swimming, Denver completed his Aqua Jogging and Aqua Circuits courses, gaining extra motivation by his ability to conquer such a personal fear.
Denver has gone on to deliver both Aqua Circuits and Aqua Jogging classes on a weekly basis, becoming a positive role model for his community and a key player in introducing the ‘gym in the pool’ culture in Lewisham.
His Aqua Jog and Aqua Circuit classes remain some of the most popular aquatic classes in Lewisham. Denver breaks the mould of the traditional aquatic workforce which in turn has attracted a new clientele to the pool.
As well as encouraging swimming, Denver remains a passionate advocate of cross training and has seen an improvement in his own physique since training simultaneously in the gym and the pool.