when is it too late to learn swimming?

  • being_human

    Posts: 152

    Apr 21, 2014 12:00 PM GMT
    im 21. question is.. when is it too late to learn swimming? I really want to learn but most of d classes are for kids n im afraid id feel foolish.
    do you think im late?
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    Apr 21, 2014 12:14 PM GMT
    when is it too late to learn swimming?

    When you're drowning.

    Otherwise, you can learn at any time in your life, and most certainly at 21. Many US YMCAs have adult learners classes; unaware of what's available where you live.

    Do you know of any beaches or pool facilities that have lifeguards? Ask one of them for info if you can't find adult classes listed anywhere. They might even know about private lessons. Universities might also hold public swimming classes at their pools, as some in the US do, and also swim clubs, as part of their community involvement and to spread interest in swimming.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 21, 2014 3:52 PM GMT
    Heck no.. never too late! I'm actually going to cover the subject of "seniors learning to swim" on a specific show of my webradio weekly fitness series, "Spirit of Fitness" for next season. Learning new aspects of fitness (especially something practically important like swimming) never goes out of style!!
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Apr 21, 2014 4:04 PM GMT
    Go for it. The Y or Red Cross has adult beginners classes. It's a great thing to learn and you will have a lot of fun.
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    Apr 21, 2014 4:11 PM GMT
    I learned to swim at 44 years of age...like most good things, it's not easy to do and yes, you probably WILL feel / look foolish at first. If you can keep going despite these feelings, and put a lot of work into it (it took much longer than I would have thought to build endurance for swimming), you will be rewarded.

    I now consider it one of the best things I've accomplished in my adult life.
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    Apr 21, 2014 4:11 PM GMT
    I started swimming seriously 2 years ago, when I was 29. I taught myself by mimicking swimmers near me, talking to other swimmers at the pool and with youtube videos. It takes a lot of patience and persistence, much harder than weight lifting, running, biking, or any other sport.
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    Apr 21, 2014 4:13 PM GMT
    article-2440925-18720F4600000578-132_634

    Boston Celtics' Brandon Bass learning to swim at age 28 Fall 2013

    Answer: Never. I learned just last year icon_lol.gif
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    Apr 21, 2014 4:13 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidHeck no.. never too late! I'm actually going to cover the subject of "seniors learning to swim" on a specific show of my webradio weekly fitness series, "Spirit of Fitness" for next season. Learning new aspects of fitness (especially something practically important like swimming) never goes out of style!!


    I'd be very interested in hearing that.
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    Apr 21, 2014 4:18 PM GMT
    I'm almost 21 and I can't swim as well. You should learn it soon, though.

    I've had a few embarrassing moments already. Once I went for dragonboating with a group of college students in my uni, and it turned out I was the only one who couldn't swim and everyone started laughing. Also, I almost drowned while getting out of the boat.

    Anyway, take swimming classes. I'm pretty sure there are classes for adults as well. You're missing out a really good workout.
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    Apr 21, 2014 4:30 PM GMT
    Please learn to swim. It's not too late like art_deco said.

    I "learned" how to swim when I was 6. I went down a waterslide and my father was waiting for me at the bottom where the slide entered the pool. Except he was waiting at the end of the wrong one. That's where I straight up taught myself how to swim because I was NOT going to die because of my father's dumb ass. A week later my mother enrolled me in swimming lessons.

    However, I'm still learning and I'm 23. Just a few months ago I had to teach myself the breaststroke for my lifeguard certification and a few months before that I had to teach myself how to properly tread water for water polo. (I hate you, eggbeater.)

    But yes. Please learn. It's an invaluable skill that I personally think everyone should know.
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    Apr 21, 2014 4:41 PM GMT

    It's never too late to learn something new. Same with swimming.
    I learnt to swim when I was 8 and in our swimming batch we had one man who was most probably in his forties. It really doesn't matter as long as we get to learn what we want to.
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    Apr 21, 2014 5:03 PM GMT
    When your heart stops.

    Seriously so long as you have good health you can take on any sport at any age and you should. Looking like a kook learning something new is very healthy for an adult. It is good to be humbled but more importantly swimming is a must! Not being able to swim is like not being able to run. It limits you in so many other possible hobbies.

    One thing to keep in mind when you are learning is that your lungs are like a balloon. So long as you have air in them YOU DO NOT SINK. I don't care what BS people say about body fat and that they sink because they are so perfectly toned unlike those fat people who float or whatever, IT IS NOT TRUE. Lungs full of air will keep your head near the surface even if your body is completely vertical in the water. If you blow all the air out of your lungs or when the lungs fill with water than the body will sink and in the latter case the person has very little time to live. So once you have taken a deep breath, all you have to do to take another is lean the head back or better yet float on your back. Knowing this should help you overcome any fear of calm water. In any water sport you need to become one with the water and know that fear is your enemy.

    Another tip that a lot of people who know how to swim never learn is that when swimming laps you breath out in the water. You don't breath in and out when the head is raised and then hold your breath when you put the head in the water. You breath in when the head is raised and out when it is in the water. I was really surprised when I discovered that a lot of people capable of swimming didn't know this basic fact. Not knowing this could explain why so many people die from getting caught in rip tides.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4862

    Apr 21, 2014 5:22 PM GMT
    Once you learn the basics, then study stroke mechanics so that you can swim as efficiently as possible. That can make a big difference.
  • being_human

    Posts: 152

    Apr 21, 2014 5:30 PM GMT
    thanks a lot, guys. now, i'm definitely enrolling. cant wait to start.
  • being_human

    Posts: 152

    Apr 21, 2014 5:35 PM GMT
    friendormate said

    One thing to keep in mind when you are learning is that your lungs are like a balloon. So long as you have air in them YOU DO NOT SINK. I don't care what BS people say about body fat and that they sink because they are so perfectly toned unlike those fat people who float or whatever, IT IS NOT TRUE. Lungs full of air will keep your head near the surface even if your body is completely vertical in the water. If you blow all the air out of your lungs or when the lungs fill with water than the body will sink and in the latter case the person has very little time to live. So once you have taken a deep breath, all you have to do to take another is lean the head back or better yet float on your back. Knowing this should help you overcome any fear of calm water. In any water sport you need to become one with the water and know that fear is your enemy.

    Another tip that a lot of people who know how to swim never learn is that when swimming laps you breath out in the water. You don't breath in and out when the head is raised and then hold your breath when you put the head in the water. You breath in when the head is raised and out when it is in the water. I was really surprised when I discovered that a lot of people capable of swimming didn't know this basic fact. Not knowing this could explain why so many people die from getting caught in rip tides.


    some good insights, fellow RJ. appreciate it.
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    Apr 21, 2014 5:44 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidwhen is it too late to learn swimming?

    When you're drowning.

    Actually, that's a great time to learn to swim. Fear of death is an excellent motivator.

    It's too late after you've drowned.
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    Apr 21, 2014 6:12 PM GMT
    shortbutsweet said
    Art_Deco saidwhen is it too late to learn swimming?

    When you're drowning.

    Actually, that's a great time to learn to swim. Fear of death is an excellent motivator.

    And is also a great panicker. Panic is one of the most difficult things with which a water lifeguard must deal. Many of the rescue techniques target the problem of a person who is in total terror, who will drown the lifeguard as well as themselves as they flail about ineffectively, refusing to be calm & cooperate.

    I once taught drownproofing, and the first step was teaching students to relax and accept controlled sinking beneath the surface without fear.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 21, 2014 6:27 PM GMT
    grouploner said
    HndsmKansan saidHeck no.. never too late! I'm actually going to cover the subject of "seniors learning to swim" on a specific show of my webradio weekly fitness series, "Spirit of Fitness" for next season. Learning new aspects of fitness (especially something practically important like swimming) never goes out of style!!


    I'd be very interested in hearing that.



    It is a webradio fitness program via the National Episcopal church website. I just completed the first season with 23 shows.

    To listen to podcasted shows on the CBE, go to
    www.the-cbe.org/Spirit-of-Fitness.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2014 6:37 PM GMT
    i learned like a month ago once i moved to the beach.

    it basically involves not flailing
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    Apr 21, 2014 6:56 PM GMT
    How I learned to swim:

    My second year attending boys summer camp, age 9, the swimming counselor included me with the other boys he took out onto the big lakeside swimming dock. He told each of us to climb down the ladder into the water (about 8 feet deep) and directed us to swim to the next ladder, some 30 feet away, so he could evaluate us.

    I was scared, had never swum in deep water before (shallow home pool water and at the Y, where I could always touch bottom with my feet), but figured I would obey the adult, he knew best, and would rescue me if I needed it, didn't wanna look like a sissy in front of the other boys. I made it to the other ladder, and when I got out he complimented me for learning so well from the previous summer, and remembering my lessons.

    "I couldn't swim last year," I replied. "But I know you," he protested, "I thought you passed the swimming test." "I was here, but I never made it that far, never got out of the 'cage'" (A large wooden frame like a horse corral, with fencing and a floor submerged a few feet into the lake, where non-swimmer boys were never more than waist deep)

    "Well, you're swimming now. I want you to jump off the dock into the water." Feeling confident, I made the drop of about 6 feet. Popped right back up. I clambered back up the ladder, and the instructor told me to take a leap off the diving board. Sure! He certified me a swimmer, no more in the beginners cage for me. icon_biggrin.gif
  • biYguy

    Posts: 46

    Apr 21, 2014 7:18 PM GMT
    I learned how to swim a little over 2 years ago. I took a private 30 minute lesson from an excellent instructor who broke down the front crawl for me and gave me specific exercises to practice over the next 2 weeks. During my second 30 minute lesson, she put all the individual steps together for me and I have been swimming laps in the pool ever since.

    I now alternate between gym work, running and swimming when I am not playing tennis, playing squash or skiing.

    Good luck. You are never to old to learn!
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    Apr 21, 2014 7:29 PM GMT
    I've taught swimmers from little kids to the elderly and it's never too late. Just get in there and have fun. Before you know it, you will develop skill and confidence.

    Loved the quote from Art Deco on too late when drowning. Far better to learn in a safe pool than when the shit hits the fan.
  • toastvenom

    Posts: 1020

    Apr 21, 2014 7:50 PM GMT
    when they lower your casket into the earth
  • mladri

    Posts: 264

    Apr 21, 2014 8:01 PM GMT
    It is never too late to learn how to swim, and believe me because I'm a swimming coach icon_smile.gif
    Go for it!
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    Apr 21, 2014 8:03 PM GMT
    never too late.

    do it. a lot of community and college pools will have "Adult Learn to Swim" programs. they also have stroke improvement programs for those who know the basics but want to get better at it and need coaching.

    myself, i am 45 and have been doing my lifeguarding qualifications this winter/spring. i had the same anxiety going in, thinking i'm way too old for this. i'm in classes with kids ranging from 14 to 29 and they all love me. ok, i'm a stronger swimmer than them (cuz i'm a swimmer and water polo player), and i'm clearly an adult.

    but you know we have this team spirit which is a lot of fun. don't underestimate the kids - they may surprise you how mature they are. and you should never stop challenging yourself to learn and grow in ways that are outside of your comfort zone. icon_smile.gif