I wish to relate my experience of learning to swim.
My Seven year old son and I enrolled in a swimming camp in this
summer(May-June). My son learnt to float in 2 days. Other campers learnt
within a week. I was still standing by the edge of the pool and there were
just 7 days left. I had this great need for having at least one of my foot
firmly planted on the ground. Having paid a stiff amount for enrolling in
the camp, I felt that I should at least come to the pool daily. By then
the lady coach in charge of our batch had given up on me. I had even
considered consulting a psychiatrist regarding this inablity of mine. I
consoled myself saying that even if I didn't swim, my life would go on as
Another coach was now entrusted the task of at least getting me to float.
He began by saying that in his 20 years of teaching, not a single student
had faied to swim. I silently prayed that his grave error in judgement be
pardoned. He started from scratch . For the first 2 days he did not even
talk about floating. He gave me small tasks like holding my breath etc. On
the third day he asked me to float. By then I was quite bored with the
small and easy tasks . And guess what. I floated that day. In the next 3
days I learned to swim (only 3 metres of course.). But by then I was
hooked to this seemingly effortless exercise. I now swim regularly (at
least 4-5 hrs a week).I have realised that as far as physical activities
are concerned, my 7 year old son Karthik is miles ahead. He is now
teaching me different strokes.
Some of my learnings were:
Learning does not take place by practising complicated theories. A deep
belief on the part of the teacher and the learner that the learnings will
be accomplished is one of the best receipe for success.
Breaking learnings into miniscule but achievable steps help the learner
gain confidence. Forgetting all your past learning modes and achievements
for the moment helps.
Try , Try and Try again.
The question nagging me is:
Now that I have learned an acceptable minimum , how do I avoid a plateau
where I feel that given my past record , learning this much is achievement
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Gayatri Krishnamurthy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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