Are You Too Old to Learn How to Swim? Think Again! :)
We, humans, quite often have the tendency to put barriers on ourselves and sometimes even think in a non-positive way. Barriers on what we can do, what we can achieve and fulfil. But are those barriers actually true? Or are they just a limitation we set, which is very often due to misinformation and misconception?
In our case, the notion of being “too old” to start swimming lessons is both self-restricting and not based on any valid justification.
Facts About Swimming Lessons
Before we speak about the issue further, we have to state the following unquestionable fact for all individuals: The earlier they start swimming lessons, the better. Most experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, agree that the age of four years old is the earliest appropriate.
There is a general consensus, based on developmental psychology, that the most optimal way humans can develop their skills is by starting to acquire new, more sophisticated and complex knowledge from that age on. Furthermore, it is beyond any doubt that young brains can assimilate information quicker than adults, functioning as a sponge.
So, there’s no need for exaggerations or false talking: It’s better and more effective to start swimming lessons with a young age.
Shocking Drowning Statistics for Adults in Australia
However, statistics are shocking: According to Royal Life Saving Society’s estimations, one in five kids in Australia are unable to swim for a distance of 50 metres and three out of four children quit swim classes by the age of eight, long before they acquire the necessary survival swim skills.
Furthermore, a research conducted in 2014, showed that three out of five children in Victoria, Australia, did not know how to swim at all. All these data show that a vast number of people leaving in Australia reach adulthood without knowing how to swim, thus endangering their lives.
Shining Examples of Senior Adults who Learn To Swim
Many people think that once they leave school environment and enter adult life, learning new skills is not a priority. Even more, there is a sense that as years advance, it is not possible to learn effectively and acquire new knowledge. This is a notion that is way too far from reality. As real examples are always more striking than theory, we will mention the stories of two extraordinary women who defied stereotypes: Rosemary Caruana and Marie Kelleher.
Back in 2014, the UK based Mrs Caruana took her grandson to his swimming lessons. It was at that moment that she broke her mental barriers and decided to learn how to swim too. When that happened, Rosemary was 75 years old and did not know how to swim at all. With her own words: “I watched my youngest grandson swimming and thought, this is ridiculous…you’re 75-years-old, he’s swimming, you’re not – and you live on an island. So I asked his teacher if she would teach me and she said yes”. After one year, she was perfectly able to swim, with the aid of her instructor, boosting her self-confidence and self-esteem.
The other shining example, Marie Kelleher, is no longer with us, as she passed away in 2016, but her strong will and desire made her a great role model. Being a swimmer since she was a child, Marie Kelleher had started participating in amateur swimming races at the age of 65 and was actively swimming for the next 35 years. Not only that, but at the age of 100 she was recognized as the fastest woman on earth in her age group.
What can we all learn from such examples? That ignoring stereotypes and believing in ourselves is essential for achieving great accomplishments.
To summarise: It’s Never Too Late to Start Swimming Lessons!