Every summer, year after year, I’ve work with my nearly eleven-year-old son on swimming. Stuck with a swim teacher for a mommy he really didn’t have a choice. For a long time his stroke technique was not the best. Okay, it was awful. The boy just could not get it. His front crawl looked like a flailing windmill, spitting water in every direction as it chugged over the surface. (Oh, the headaches I’ve had.) And without fail, at the beginning of summer we have the same conversation (battle).
“I don’t want to do swim lessons,” he says with his arms crossed while I lube on his sunscreen. “I don’t like it. It’s too hard. I’m just not a swimmer.”
“Son, I’m not saying you have to join the swim team,” I reason with him, “but knowing how to swim correctly is important.” Or at least look like you’re not in the middle of drowning.
“Mom, I can’t do it.”
Most give up with that kind of thinking, but once again he’s stuck with me and I wouldn’t let him. I’m so glad I didn’t too. It took almost eleven years, but finally, finally, all those years of teaching sunk into that body of his and whoosh, he took off. I’m completely blown away by his improved technique, especially with his breast stroke. Maybe I will be pushing him to join the swim team after all.
Trying new things, expanding our experiences is always a good thing, even if at first some of those things don’t come naturally. Having to work hard at something doesn’t necessarily make it the wrong choice for you. It’s the challenges you have to persevere through you often appreciate the most.