Z is 4/5 of the way through this holiday’s swimming intensive. She goes every morning for 45 minutes for 5 days straight. (Tomorrow is her last day.) I think that this is one of 2 ways kids’ swimming skills improve quickly in s short time ... The other is peer pressure – going to the pool or beach with a friend who is a slightly stronger swimmer – it does wonders! She is in the YMCA program at Ashburton Rec and is a “High Salmon”. Being from Seattle, where salmon are such a big part of the regional culture / identify we think this is hilarious. The level below is “Low Salmon” (and the level above is Tuna). Do Low Salmons swim out to sea (easy!) and High Salmons swim back upstream? And then what?! (Stop the metaphor before spawning, please.) Anyway, as per the Y, Tunas can swim full-on, proper laps with correct form. High Salmons spend a lot of time finessing their strokes and building endurance. I reckon Z is probably a “very high salmon” (hahaha). She can swim the whole 50 metre pool back-stroke and is nearly there for free-style (breathing both sides - which I didn't learn how to do until I was in my 20s).
Last summer, towards the end of the pool season, her friend F screwed up the courage to jump off the diving board at our local pool. The main challenge for Z wasn’t the swimming back to the ladder or even the depth of the dive pool, but the fact that they don’t allow goggles when jumping off the boards. The end of summer approached and she had stood in line for the board ... but never jumped. This summer came around and the FIRST DAY we went to the pool she jumped off the diving board (sans goggles, no worries). Then, L took her to the pool next time ... and she JUMPED OFF THE HIGH DIVE! I asked her if it was scary the first time she did it and she replied, excited, “it’s scary EVERY TIME I do it!” I have yet to witness this feat ... but when I do I'll snap a photo and come back to upload.
ETA (and not but a couple days later!) - as promised: