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Simon’s swimming program is organized into 6 levels, ranging from Level 1 Splashers whose goal it is to not freak out in the water to Level 6 Flyers who are perfecting a multitude of strokes. Simon started out as a Level 2 Floater and has remained one for three months. This past Sunday, upon seeing how close he was to advancing, I talked to the swim director about Simon’s next steps. We discussed adding private lessons and the like, until finally she suggested that I try Simon out at the Wednesday Level 3 Kicker group.

If he could hang with the group, he could move ahead now and pick up his last skill from the Floaters while working with the Kickers. I figured it was worth a shot, and Simon seemed excited enough until right before his lesson, at which point he complained of being tired, which was true enough, and scared, which was even truer.

One hour later, he ran out of the building telling every man, woman, or child he could find about his swim lesson. He held the door open for people to give him the chance to talk. He galloped to the car. And when we got home, he ran up the stairs with abandon screaming for Matt to come down and look at his stickers.

Of which he had four: one for each of the Level 3 Kicker skills he mastered today. I could not believe my eyes. When it was time to float on his back and kick, he moved a good ways across the pool with no help at all. It was the same with the front, and even more so with the modified arm strokes they had him do. He actually floated better today while having to concentrate on other skills than he did on Sunday when floating was the only task at hand.

With each new attempt, he gained more confidence and was eager to try more. And he just kept succeeding. At the end of the lesson, I asked his teacher if there was any point in his returning to the Floater group to finish up. “No way!” Ms. Julie yelled. “I’m entering him into the system as a Kicker today. Bring him 5 minutes early the next few weeks, and we’ll catch him up the rest of the way in no time. He’s going to do great.”

Simon was so proud of himself he could hardly contain his glee. I have to think that this success was all the sweeter because it was so hard won. In the car, I told him how happy I was for him. Then I asked the big question:

“Why could you do all those new things today that you couldn’t three months ago? Is it because you are an awesome swimmer?”

His answer made my heart sing:

“No, Mommy, it’s because I practiced.”

Atta boy! Also, if you keep this up, you will be an awesome swimmer. In fact, I’m getting ever more inspired to start lessons again myself. Maybe with this new system and enough practice I could manage well enough to do laps for exercise.

One Response to “Kicker!”

  1. blg says:

    Swimming laps is my special treat after spin class or something really sweaty. I have been teaching myself to breath on both sides over the past two months. My chiropractor is “making” me change 50 years of swimming because of my sore neck.

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