I was afraid of deep water. Whenever I went to a resort with swimming pools, I always check for the depth of each pools first. Whenever a swimming pool is beyond my height, I would definitely avoid and shun away from it. But this fear is finally gone with the support from my friends, family and a good swimming school equipped with highly trained and accommodating swim coaches.
How it all Started
Everything started from an ambitious objective. As I started travel blogging earlier this year, I realized that traveling with our senses alone like seeing and tasting is not enough to truly savor the experience. It should be linked with something physical. With my mission of exploring all 81 provinces of the Philippines, our country has a lot of things to offer from the top of a mountain to the depths of the sea and it needs physicality to amplify the experience. This physical aspect means applying vital skills such as hiking, trekking, driving, swimming and freediving. Without it, then your traveling experience would be as flat as a picture hanged on a wall. You’ll only see one side of it.
One day I was viewing the beautiful underwater pictures of Mr. Nico Gavan on instagram. (Check out his instagram feed here) Each photographs are all amazing and he showed a different world under. Then I told myself, I want to be a freediver like him in the future. But first, let me conquer my fear of deep water.
So, I started by enrolling in a swim school to reinforce my swimming skills and start a lifestyle of swimming.
Learning the Basics at Swim Central
Before I proceed, let me tell you that this is not a paid review. It is my personal choice and preference to enroll myself in this swim school. Here’s my experience with them.
I was looking for a swimming school near our area and I found out that Swim Central offers swimming classes to different locations around Manila. Their program offers flexibility in schedule and it is perfectly designed for adults. Once you started enrolling in their swimming program, you can choose an available venue near your place and the appropriate time of class depending on your work schedule.
In my case, I availed their Basic Program which is composed of 8 sessions. Each session has a length of an hour and a half and this program is divided into two different lessons. The first lesson is composed of 6 sessions and is all about learning the basics of freestyle and breaststroke. The last two sessions is all about learning how to tread, float and swim in deep water and they call it the “survival program”.
The Basic Program
Since I am working in a hospital with different time shifts, I was able to squeeze in my swimming lessons between my hectic schedule. Big thanks to Swim Central’s flexible schedule. I also chose different places for my swimming lessons, depending on my shift and location. For the first 6 sessions, I attended in Marikina Sports Complex in Marikina City with Coach Maiko and Coach Dan, and in PhilSports Complex (previously known as Ultra) in Pasig City with Coach Allan.
I knew a couple of things about swimming but I never thought that I am executing it incorrectly. My coaches were very patient and focused. They always make sure that you will perform the right steps and stroke. They are consistent in reminding you about the basics and they will never advance on the next level until you get things right.
What makes learning with them fun and easier is because of the friendly and accommodating nature of their swimming coaches. I simply like the way they guide their students, it’s personal and well-detailed. Every time I swim, my coaches always have some insights on my performance. They will say things like, “You did better this time, but sometimes your feet were pointed during breaststroke kick.” or “Just relax, if you push yourself too hard, you will get tired easily.” The atmosphere is truly supportive and encouraging. Each student receives equal attention and I never felt left behind.
Their criticisms were vital for me and I digest every insights they give. I was thankful for their encouragement because at the end of the sixth session, I was able to swim 100 meters of both freestyle and breaststroke. Yeah!
The Survival Program
I went to Mares Diving Center in Makati City for this program with Coach Dan and Coach Carlo as my swimming coaches for two sessions. This diving center has a 14-feet swimming pool which is conducive for learning water treading and vertical floating. The purpose of survival program is for you to learn how to survive in open deep water and to prevent yourself from drowning.
When I first came and saw that 14-feet swimming pool, I felt my hands started to sweat. Our coach that time were so consistent in encouraging and teaching us. He always remind his students that the key for survival is to stay calm.
We started our lessons by learning different ways on how to float. My favorite technique is the back float because it feels like lying on bed. Our coach also taught us how to do dog paddle and showed different types of water treading such as fisherman kick and breaststroke kick. I find breaststroke kick easier on my end.
After a few practice, guidance and reinforcement, the last part of the session is by jumping in that 14-feet deep swimming pool. My chest was pounding as I stood and saw that deep swimming pool. I set my doubts and fear aside and focused on the lessons our coaches had taught us. Then I finally jumped! Check out the video below:
The experience was exhilarating! I finally knew how to tread in water. With more practice and consistency, I will be able to do this technique smoothly. I did this many times and the fear of deep water was finally gone!
Fear of Deep Water No More
Last Friday, my friends and I went to Club Manila East in Taytay, Rizal. This resort has a 14-feet pool with different levels for cliff jumping. I went there and applied the lessons I’ve learned in Swim Central.
As we climbed the man-made cliff, I saw a bunch of people at the edge of the cliff waiting for someone to jump. Together with my friend, Riza, we went up and jumped without any hesitation. The experience was truly fun! I also went to Burias Island in Masbate and did some cliff jumping too. Check out the video below:
Today, I am living the lifestyle of swimming. Aside from weight training in the gym and biking, I already added swimming as part of my fitness lifestyle. I make sure that I swim train at least once a week so that my skills will be maintained and improve.
Overall, my experience with Swim Central is highly satisfactory. My expected goals were exceeded and I was able to push beyond my comfort zone. I availed their swimming program not just for fun but also for my personal investment. I know for sure that the skills I gained in Swim Central is also for the good of my future. The fear of deep water is already gone and now I think I’m ready to take this aquatic journey in the next level – freediving.
If you’re looking for a great swim class, I recommend Swim Central. For further details about their program, you can visit their website at http://www.swimcentral.com.ph/
You can also check out their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/swimcentralph/
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