Learn to Swim Companion

A guide for parents and learners

Sports journalist David Spencer is learning to swim as an adult

talkSPORT journalist David Spencer has recently decided to face his fears and start swimming with Fusion Lifestyle. Here is explains why he is learning to swim and what he hopes to achieve through his ‘Taking the plunge – learning to swim as an adult podcast’…

As a teenager not being able to swim was something to single me out – but never in a good way. Friends would go swimming and I’d go home; family holidays on beaches saw me sit with mum away from the water because of my fear.

I remember hating water being poured over my head by mum when she was washed my head in the bath. She would count the number and I feel a sense of huge relief when she got to 13 and finished!

What’s the worst that can happen?

Every other sport that I have tried or taken part in has been easier to try and play, probably because of natural hand-eye co-ordination. But to me there is nothing natural about being able to swim. We are not meant to be in the water.

People ask me ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’

‘Drown’ is my obvious response. No other activity puts my life in danger like this. But also, no activity can transform your life and become a hugely valuable life skill like swimming.

When I mention this fear now to colleagues, story emerge of similar issues or similar fears. Some don’t like flying – or won’t fly. Some can’t ride a bike. “Can’t ride a bike?!” I cry with amazement. But to them, me not being able to swim is just as strange.

How then, you may ask – did I manage to avoid learning to swim throughout my school years? The truth is I was scared and the teaching woefully inadequate.

So 46 years into my life I’ve decided to shed this stigma and try learning to swim as an adult.

I was inspired to embark on this journey by a news story I covered about the millions of adults in the UK that say they can’t swim.

I hope my journey will inspire you too or your friends or colleagues that can’t swim or perhaps want to swim better – to try it.

I was inspired to embark on this journey – or should I say voyage – by a news story I covered about the millions of adults in the UK that say they can’t swim.

Millions. The number shocked me. I was not alone. My motivation for learning and researching is to look into other barriers that exist and to try and help other non-swimmers overcome those barriers.

Taking the plunge

David’s ‘Taking The Plunge’ podcast is about his experience of learning to swim as an adult, aged 46. It explores what fears or barriers exist for people and how to overcome them.

There will also be appearances from Olympians, psychologists and swimming experts about the benefits of adding swimming to your life skills.

  • Click here to download David’s ‘Taking the Plunge’ podcast from iTunes
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