30 - How I Learned to Swim

TL:DR | A personal anecdote about my journey to being a swimmer. Let alone a swim instructor.

3 min read
30 - How I Learned to Swim

Many people, heck if not most, know me as the "Pool Guy" or even "Aquaman" (because of the way I swim).

What caused that to come to be, and what is my history with the pool? Those are what I am going to talk about today, to give a perspective perhaps people wouldn't expect.

Why + Philosophy:

Nowadays my personal philosophy is that you can always be doing more. If not depth then width in knowledge or application of knowledge. That means you should always strive for progression.

Where did that come from? I was not an active kid when it came to sports, or even just going outside a whole lot. I mean I did it, but for the most part I couldn't even do monkey bars.

If we look back it started from my personal exercise journey, which itself started with swimming!

How + Physics:

Growing up I actually didn't have anyone to teach me to swim until I was 13. I had always wanted to, and I remember actually taking lessons as a toddler surprisingly. I always was a fish however, and adored being in the water.

My mother or grandmother would take me to the pool where I'd eventually work, and I would spend HOURS just going around. Even underwater, there wasn't a fear blocking me. Just simply the acquisition of knowledge.

When I was 13 I went on a camping trip with my dad, and there was a pool. He taught me what he knew. Now I'd honestly call it doggy paddling, which as most of you know is a big no no! haha

Although it got me confident enough to make my way across deep water.

A few years later in high school, there was a class called "Swimming for Fitness", and I am so glad there was. It got me stronger, more confident, and it was what lead me to become a lifeguard. To be frank though I was DYING in the pool each day. I have a distinct memory of rushing/sprinting purely because I did not have the strength, endurance, or calmness otherwise to make it across.

I had to keep doing that until I got stronger, but to be fair I started from a rather negative progression compared to most people.

What + Psychology:

I think the real challenge was learning how to push myself past my limits. I never had terrible cardio, but it certainly wasn't strong. When I was an infant I actually even had breathing issues, and I wonder if they impacted me later in life too without me fully realizing it.

I learned that the best way to get across the pool was to stay as calm as I could, for as long as I could. Given strength and endurance levels, that length of time was short, but I could tell it was getting longer and longer.

That sense of progression is what got me to keep trying. One of my favorite experiments was to swim wall to wall underwater. I used it as a benchmark of if my lungs were keeping up where they needed to be.

These lessons applied themselves perfectly for when I started instructing.

Never stop learning

Even multiple years after I was teaching people how to swim, there were still more lessons to learn. Whether it was from pro swimmers from Mizzou, or perhaps a unique way of bending a part of your body.

I kept experimenting myself, and found some of the best ways that way. Through trial and error, and some of my findings compete with the traditional swimmer world. Such as how your hands should be when you do the Butterfly stroke.

The physics don't lie, and through these newsletters I hope I can impart my lessons onto you!


This is advice for people to level up their swimming, or perhaps get started in the first place. While you swim you should make sure you are doing so in a public facility with a lifeguard on duty for safety.

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