Another weekend passed and again people lost their lives in the water. Drowning is such a horrible thing, and can be avoided with ease.
You don’t have to learn how to swim laps, to dive gracefully, to do a fancy butterfly with water spraying behind you.
All you have to do is tread water slowly, and to stay calm.
You can tread water with so little effort and for such a long time. The body basically floats, it doesn’t take much energy to keep your head up. Moving slowly and calmly is so much better than spinning your legs and thrashing your arms wildly.
But that is what you do when you panic in the water. And that doesn’t keep your head out of the water.
Almost every rec center that has a pool will offer swimming lessons, and most will offer some free, especially to children. Children can learn to swim much faster than adults. The younger the better, before a fear of the water starts.
It is the fear of the water that causes a lot of drownings, when you have this fear and are suddenly immersed in water, your long lived panic emerges, you thrash and gasp… and sink.
Swimming is instinctive. New born babies put in the water swim.
I am not telling you to go stick your baby in the water right now. But if you have children, please check local pools, see if they have lessons available. It is so important, many will tell me they live hundreds of miles from a lake, so why bother… well what happens when you move, or your children grow up and move, and then that one day they fall out of a boat, or off the edge of a boardwalk and make that splash.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see that they had those lessons and don’t panic?
Many lakes have weeds that tangle up swimmers legs, they feel them and panic. Many will drown in our local lakes in water they could stand in. But they panic when the weeds entwine around them.
It is bad and hard to overcome. I can tell you now, don’t panic, stay calm, and just gently move your arms back and forth, and move your legs like you are riding a bike, and do it slow… but you will probably not do this.
If you have a few lessons, in a safe pool, or even on a beach somewhere, maybe that won’t happen if you end up falling out of a boat.
Falling out of a boat…. nods, it happens a lot. It is so easy to do, I have done it often. Looking at the scenery, watching a water skier behind your boat.. spotting for them, the boat turns suddenly to avoid something or hits a wild wave and out you go. Little boats.. when fishing, or canoes, or rubber dinghies. They are all very unstable in the water and tip easily. People will go to a lake from the city, overload a small boat for a fishing trip, it is so relaxing… until one falls out and no one knows how to swim.. they watch their friend vanish… It happens so often.
Life jackets. not cool, don’t wear them… gawds.. put the darn things on.
But learn how to swim please, oh I know, you have a fear of the water, shhhh, I won’t tell anyone. Lets go real slow, you can hold on to me. We will start where it is shallow, and you can learn how easy it is to tread water. We won’t go into the deep water at all. Oh you can later if you wish, I only want you to over come that fear you don’t have… shhhh, so you don’t panic. Just slow movements with your arms back and forth, moving through the water just below the surface, hold them out straight, let your hands cup the water, move them together palm facing the water as you move it, then turn them slowly when you move back.. nice and slow, your feet pumping slowly, noooo not fast.. slow.. ride your bike down that lane-way. look around, relax, enjoy the scenery. breathe slowly. see you are swimming.. nods, it is that easy. You can swim around like this too, oh you will move slow, but you can move closer to shore, to a boat, the edge of a pool.
If you feel something touch your feet.. or your legs.. so what. Moving them faster won’t help, just keep treading, ignore it. Overcome your mind. The urge is to dog paddle, a basic swimming technique used by most animals, and babies when they are in the water, but it is not a good method for energy consumed verses distance traveled. Your head often dips in the water with it, and you swallow water, so you panic and try harder..
panicking in water is bad.
Just tread water. Stay calm.
now, go look in the paper to see about swimming lessons, many are free too. It can be a fun day out.
hey, why are you still reading this… points up.. I told you to go look in the paper, or online even…..
I hate to see someone thrashing in the water in a panic. They don’t stay above the water long. And I may not see you or your children if you start to panic in the water, so I won’t be able to jump in and help. So I am trying to help you now. Points up again.