Learning to swim
During the past few weeks I have been having swimming lessons. I can swim but have never been able to master the head in the water breathing thing that you need to be able to do front crawl. My son and his friends have learnt well – when they swim their breathing is part of the process and they glide through the water so elegantly. It got me thinking that I would like to learn how to do that and also that I would need to be taught, it wasn’t something I was going to spontaneously be able to do however much I wished it to happen!
Such a thrill
I booked onto my first lesson and was amazed at how much I was able to do in half an hour. I did indeed learn the technique of how to breathe whilst swimming and the energy I had when I finished was brilliant. I felt proud of myself for learning something new and for being able to process the instruction and amend my actions in order to make myself a better swimmer.
I promptly booked myself onto 2 more lessons and the feeling ( and improvement!) has continued. I realise that it is as much to do with learning something new as it is being able to swim better. I like the new connections that are being made in my head and the realisation that I am different to how I was before.
'Exhorted to continue learning'
It reminded me of something Octavia Hill, founder of the National trust, observed in herself as she began teaching at a college in the mid-1800s - ‘There is a tendency to relax study in the sense of usefulness, and the new found delight in teaching. This should be guarded against, and those who commenced teaching should be strenuously exhorted to continue learning’*.
As we get better at things we do – in work, our hobbies, and our lives, we become more expert and maybe more likely to be advisors and share our knowledge. The exciting thing then is to begin learning more and more new skills and get the buzz that comes from it.
By Tasha George
* Quote taken from Octavia Hill, Social reformer and founder of the National Trust by Gillian Darley