Welcome to the Art of Swimming online magazine!
I am a Shaw Method swimmer: Anita
Like many people Anita found that school swimming lessons did nothing to help a nervous beginner. In a large class of 30 children she didn’t get the specialist attention she needed and left school a non swimmer. In 2008, she decided to do something about her lack of aquatic skills and took some individual lessons in Shaw Method. 18 months later she’s working on her bilateral breathing for front crawl and perfecting her breaststroke. The next challenge will be butterfly …
I wanted an alternative way of keeping fit. And I was fed up of going on holiday with friends and not being able to swim.
What attracted you to Shaw Method?
I found out about Alexander Technique as I wanted to work on my posture. Then I read about Shaw Method and thought that I could learn to swim and work on my posture at the same time.
What were your first impressions?
I learnt with Huseyin Dermis who is the most incredibly patient and gentle teacher. His constant encouragement and reassurance meant that at each stage I was able to get comfortable before moving on.
Was there a breakthrough moment?
One of my problems was that I didn’t believe I could float. I really thought that I would just sink to the bottom. So it was a big moment when I glided by myself for the first time. Although we had built up to it slowly it was still a leap of faith to let go and trust the water. At that moment I knew it worked. Wow!
How do you find swimming now?
I absolutely love it. I go about three times a week and if I’m staying in a hotel with a pool I’m looking for any opportunity to get in. How times have changed!
What advice would you give to other non swimmers?
I thought about booking a lesson for a long time before I actually made that phone call. If anything, thinking about going to the pool was much harder than just doing it! So I’d say set aside some time and book a few lessons. Once you get started, you will get a real sense of achievement from each step you take. And the health benefits are enormous: my posture has improved and I’m getting far less back and shoulder pain.