After slipping in the pool, Izzy learns to swim at the Y

Izzy takes swim lessons at the YMCA
Izzy shows us how brave she is now

It is hard to remember why swim lessons are so important. Last summer we were at a family outing in a pool full of other adults and our kids, and Izzy was on the steps right next to me in the pool. Izzy cannot swim and had never had lessons. She normally wears a puddle jumper when she’s in the pool, except this time simply because she wasn’t ready to get in.

Izzy slipped off the pool step

Instead she decided to put her feet in the pool. She slipped off the bottom step within an arm’s length of me. I was facing the opposite direction talking to her dad.

“I turned around to face her, and on the surface of the pool I saw the top of a head and big wide-eyed Izzy grasping for me.”

I leaped toward her and scooped her out of the water, this was the scariest moment of my entire life. Since then, my little fish refused to get in the water at all. When she finally did agree to get in the water, she refused to be without her puddle jumper, even in the kiddie pool!

Overcoming fear

Hinton Girls enjoying summer swimming at the Y
Hinton Girls enjoying summer at the Y

We joined the Baxter YMCA to take advantage of the summer programs. When I saw they had swimming lessons, I decided to have all three of my kiddos take lessons. More than anything, I hoped it would help Izzy face her fear of the water. Day one of class Izzy cried and begged me not to take her, because she was scared they would make her get in the water without her puddle jumper (she can reach the bottom of the pool by the way).

When we got there they split the kids in groups based on skill level, and Izzy and her sister Lux were in Miss Brie’s class. Izzy got into the water but wouldn’t let go of the wall.

From scared to excited

After just a few lessons she started actually enjoying the lessons.

She’d ask everyone in the family all week long, “how many days until swim lessons?”

She looked forward to getting in the water even without flotation assistance. She would barely dip her face in the water prior to lessons, and she had to hold her nose, but during lessons she learned how to dip her head in the water completely!  She eventually learned how to submerge her head in the water without holding her nose.

“We are so proud of her and what she has accomplished. Best of all, my baby learned to be confident in the water!”

I remember the first time she got into the pool without even thinking about it! Lux achieved so much that her progress report at the end of class indicated she could skip a level because she had done so well! The Baxter YMCA Swim Lessons are capable of making huge changes in how someone views the water. Instead of being afraid, she now truly looks forward to swimming with her sisters and friends. And I have more confidence in her ability to keep herself safe, which is priority #1!

Hinton family enjoying the outdoor pool
Hinton family enjoying the outdoor pool