I consider myself pretty lucky to have a variety of friends who are always up for doing something. Travel, beer festival, sky dive, take a swim class? Sure! I typically do all of my workouts at home, in Beulah at the Fit Club or at my work’s gym. All in my comfort zone, easy to get to and what not. I saw an ad for Adult Swim Skills Training on the BSC Aquatics Center Facebook page and it immediately caught my interest. Last summer, I started swimming but I use that term very loosely. I taught myself to swim watching YouTube videos. It wasn’t pretty. I love the water, love to “lake” swim, but never really knew how to freestyle or swim with my face in the water. When I did my sprint tri, I was the 2nd or 3rd to the last out of the water. Of everyone. Ugh. Since I suck, I want to get better. I don’t like being the bottom of the barrel. I signed up for the class immediately. This is how it read from their website:
Adult Swim Skills Training
These swim classes are designed specifically for adults who are comfortable in the water, but would like to learn more about swimming for recreation, health and wellness.
Adult Swim Skills I: This class establishes the participant’s foundation of water skills and then moves on to teach the strokes for fitness swimming or triathlons. The instructor will focus on different strokes; freestyle, backstroke, elementary backstroke, side stroke and breaststroke. The end result is to be able to swim laps, comfortably and confidently.
Adult Swim Skills II: This program is for adults who want to perfect their swimming skills and endurance in order to begin a training program. The instructor will focus on drills for each stroke as well as building endurance for swimming continuous laps. This class will start with the basics of the stokes and teach a variety of drills to help maximize your efforts in the water.
Each class will run two times per week for four weeks, for a total of eight – 45 minute sessions. (My class went April 13 – May 6.) Participants need a suit, towel, goggles and a great attitude to learn! You must tie long hair back and swim cap is optional. Cost is $55 (member or not).
The BSC Aquatic & Wellness Center is located on the Bismarck State College Campus and it is a gorgeous facility. They have a 50-meter competition pool, diving, recreation and lap pools, along with a wellness center with strength and cardio equipment.
Shortly after I signed up for class I was visiting with my Bismarck friend, Jen. I mentioned the class to her and she said she’d be down to go also. I get extremely anxious in social situations, especially where I don’t know anyone, don’t know what to expect and don’t know what I am doing. So in general, most of the time. Jen is a social butterfly and can make friends with anyone. I was quite happy she was going to go to class with me.
At the first class (I’d say there were 8 or so of us on any given night), you could tell we were all nervous. There were 6 women and 2 men. Our instructor, Joe, was very nice, patient, easy to listen to and very knowledgeable. We all knew how to swim, but were looking to get more comfortable with our stroke and breathing. Through the 8 classes, we used many tools to help us with our stroke, including: pull buoys, fins, paddles, kickboards and a waist life vest thing (definitely not the technical term, ha).
Joe had us do various exercises, swimming, water running, treading water, etc. Each 45 minute class really flew by. I liked using the pool tools as it made me more comfortable in the water and with my breathing. He also explained how each tool properly aided us.
I don’t think I told this story but I signed up for a few swim lessons last summer at BSC. My first one was a complete failure and I didn’t learn much. The instructor was young and didn’t seem to have much interest or didn’t know how to teach an adult. I never went back after that first “lesson”. I was hesitant to take this class because of that reason. However, this set of classes was well worth my money and I learned so much. I hope to use the skills he taught us this summer.
On our final night Jen and I met up at a nearby bar for a few beers before class. Our coach (as I called him) had us swim and do a few skills. But at the end he taught us to dive and we could jump off the diving board. So diving…yeah….that didn’t go too well for Feisty Eats. I think I have a fear of hitting my head on the bottom or something? I kept trying but couldn’t get it. I had mostly belly flops and a red chest and thighs to show for it. My friend Jen? You’ll probably see her in the Olympics next year. Beautiful dives! She was down playing it saying the town she grew up in had a pool but I think she just has a natural ability that I don’t have. However, once we went to the diving boards by cannonballs were on point. So I have that!
I think I met my goal of getting more comfy in the pool. I will definitely consider taking another class at BSC and for sure hit up the Hazen pool and Lake Sakakawea once it warms up. The only downside is the 70 mile (each way) drive. You can maybe tell by the photo above that I was pretty exhausted some days after working, driving, running, class and driving again. But I learned a lot!