In the final part of our 3 part blog* on how to stay inspired this year, Phil, a swimmer who couldn’t swim at the beginning of 2014, talks us through how he kept motivated.
Phil represents two of our swimming categories: learn to swim and health. In comparison to some of our performance athletes where an injury may stop them from swimming and may lead to demotivation, it was an injury that motivated Phil to take up swimming! Over to Phil…
“My swim journey began in June 2014, after suffering terrible sciatica since Christmas 2013. I was always scared of being in water since being pushed in, age 6, at Altrincham baths in 1968, and it took me till I was 51 to have the courage to start learning to swim.
The first lesson with Lucy was remarkable for the high level of fear I experienced, but Lucy put me at ease, and since that first lesson my love affair with swimming has grown, so much so that I am now taking to the water even when not taking lessons, purely to practice what I have learned so far. Even the cold winter weather does not dampen my enthusiasm.
Learning to swim is not a quick process, in many ways learning to swim mirrors my journey learning to dance over the past 10 years, every lesson I just keep chipping away at it, and every lesson is a little bit closer towards my goal of being a good swimmer.
Low points have been very rare indeed, at first I found my right leg very weak due to a past injury, but following my experience of learning to dance, I knew that patience with myself at this point was key. Now that patience has paid off and now it is so much stronger, as is my whole body.
Lucy is such a wonderful teacher, always so patient but also setting new challenges to keep things exciting, which helps to keep me motivated.
Swimming has helped me in other areas of my life too. A big bonus since starting swimming is that I am back salsa dancing again after a break of 12 months, and while the sciatica has not gone completely, it is 90% better now. That in itself is a great motivator to keep swimming – to help keep pain free and to be able to keep dancing!”