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Swimming - too old to lern?

(48 Posts)
PeppermintPatty Sat 07-Nov-20 10:06:17

I have never been a great swimmer and can only swim the breast stroke, and that’s not very good. I’m ok swimming in a pool, not too scared Swimming in a lake or the sea, but I would love to learn the front crawl. My husband is planning to swim the channel next year. I know that’s something I will never do, but It would be great to be able to swim a bit better. Plus I think it will help me to get a bit fitter and lose some weight.
Has anyone else learnt to swim late and like to share their experience?

Teetime Sat 07-Nov-20 10:34:28

I couldn't swim at all but challenged myself in my 60th year. I managed to learn but only a width or two and I really dont enjoy it so haven't really been back - I ought to though once the pools open again. Go for it - Good Luck. smile

biba70 Sat 07-Nov-20 10:39:19

never ever too old to learn to swim- one of the few sports where you cannot hurt yourself. But the key is to find the right teacher, in the right location (eg no crowded) and with low sides. Bravo- enjoy.

biba70 Sat 07-Nov-20 10:40:32

In magazines like The Lady, etc, there are adverts for learn to swim holidays- I'd go for one of those when possible.

4allweknow Sun 08-Nov-20 09:37:41

You can actually swim. You are looking to be able to do a different style of swimming. Go for it.

Missingmoominmama Sun 08-Nov-20 09:39:00

My grandmother learned to swim in her 60s. I was so proud of her!

Mildmanneredgran Sun 08-Nov-20 09:47:17

Can I suggest you check out your local leisure centre (when it's open again, of course!) and have a look at their swimming classes? Ours have an "Improve Your Swimming" which sounds ideal for you.

SynchroSwimmer Sun 08-Nov-20 09:53:11

I would say go for it!
It’s all about balancing the breathing I find.
Start with just a single length, build to 2 lengths, and slowly up to 10 and then away you go.
I prefer using a diving mask to cover my nose.
Later you might want a waterproof mp3 music player to swim to your favourite music ?
Even try adding in some hand paddles to improve upper body strength, or cut-off fins for leg strength.

Quizzer Sun 08-Nov-20 09:55:05

Having taught swimming for years I know that you are never too old! Hopefully your local pool will have lessons for mature people, although that may be for complete beginners. Sometimes you can get one-to-one lessons. My advice if you want to learn front crawl is to get good fitting goggles and not mind getting your hair wet!!

Yellowmellow Sun 08-Nov-20 10:13:45

Go for it. You're never too old as.long as health.permits you to do something. My friend learnt to swim from scratch at the age of 70. She.loves it and she feels along with walking it helps keeps her supple and healthy

Gwenisgreat1 Sun 08-Nov-20 10:20:51

PeppermintPatty my swimming is much like yours, I can do the crawl but don't enjoy it - probably because I'm self taught. My DH will not swim, so I have no motive for improving. You do - go for it!!

annsixty Sun 08-Nov-20 10:22:26

I have never learnt to swim and have no desire to.
I hyperventilate when in water and can only wash my hair from thee back.
The feeling of water on my face terrifies me
My D’s FIL learnt as a retirement present to himself at 65.
He had private lessons and took to it straightaway.
As a child he had an accident and dirty water got in his ear, he was so ill he nearly died so his parents kept him away from water all his childhood.
Go for it, never too late.

KIKIDEE123 Sun 08-Nov-20 10:26:12

There’s a great u tube lesson given by a Frenchman that breaks up the crawl into very manageable bites. Well worth a look. Best tutor on the crawl that I have come across. Good luck to you. It’s so empowering to do the crawl!

garnet25 Sun 08-Nov-20 10:49:11

Haveing since childhood swum breaststroke and backstroke easily I didn't learn crawl until I was approaching 70, I taught myself Apart from one lesson on style which was very useful. It is now my prefered and fastest stroke, I use a nose clip and good goggles.

Minerva Sun 08-Nov-20 10:55:27

I used to only swim what I call “English lady” style breaststroke with my face clear of the water. Then a gym with a pool arrived in our area and watching the other swimmers made me determined to learn the front crawl. It took a while, first learning how to breathe and how not to under water. I watched the good swimmers and read/watched instructions online and can now say that I am reasonably good at it. I can also swim breaststroke with my face in the water so I don’t end up with neck ache. I was 70. My asthma improved hugely and the pain in my joints and I miss it greatly. So go for it if you can.

Alioop Sun 08-Nov-20 11:25:08

I would love to be able to swim but have such a fear of water passing the top of my legs. I nearly drowned when I was a child in the open sea, my father and uncle saved me. My mum sent me for swimming lessons, but I panicked terribly so they stopped. On holidays I paddle about the shallow end of pools trying to cool off or sit in the kids pool....If you don't have a fear of water go for it, never too old to try new things.

Ronnie Sun 08-Nov-20 11:52:08

Yes, you can do it, I too could only do breast stroke, the local D. L. has a great pool, I took a few lessons for crawl in my 60’s & I was away. Swimming is my main exercise, the more you swim the better you get. I go 3 times a week & swim for about 45mins breaststroke, crawl & backstroke. I don’t do butterfly though! ?? I’m 74 & I will miss my swim while we are in lockdown, having to resort to exercises at home? won’t be the same & I just know I will ache afterwards. You don’t get that with swimming. Win win in my view. Good luck.

ExaltedWombat Sun 08-Nov-20 12:10:33

You CAN swim! You're just talking about brushing up your technique. Of course you can. Maybe different for someone who had reached later life without being to swim at all, or with a fear of water.

Flytothestars Sun 08-Nov-20 12:11:02

I went on a swimming holiday called Swimming without Stress to regain confidence in the water and learn how to swim ‘properly'. They were marvellous, had me gliding face down through the water, rolling onto my back and generally making me feel comfortable in the water. I think the difference with them is that they are in the pool with you and gradually back off as you gain confidence. My DH came with me and his lessons were to improve his front crawl and breast stroke. After one lesson he started to notice the difference and now swims...without stress ?

icanhandthemback Sun 08-Nov-20 12:15:39

My friend is a champion swimmer, I swim like a brick. She says it is because of my breathing that I struggle so much although these days it is compounded by a lack of muscle. I think getting lessons to perfect your breathing and style is very achievable. My gasp reflex is very strong, my fear is very great so I'm not sure I'll ever be a "swimmer" but I admire people who can or those that can't but persevere. All my children are strong swimmers, I made sure of that. I'd love to be a graceful swimmer like my daughter, it is like watching a ballet.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 08-Nov-20 12:45:04

I didn't learn to swim properly until I was nearly fifty, because I was scared of water after an accident as a child.

I have learned to swim, so you can too.

Saggi Sun 08-Nov-20 14:30:37

My mum bought her first swim suit at 81 years old....she learnt to swim ...then went with my sister to Greece where apparently she swam in sea and in the hotel pool. Go for it!!

Saggi Sun 08-Nov-20 14:34:43

My local pool hasn’t opened since the first lockdown arthritis has increased tenfold ....I may never be able to get back to it!! I’m scared of being crippled as swimming kept it under control .

Bakingmad0203 Sun 08-Nov-20 14:41:51

I too taught myself to swim when I was about 11. However I always found it an effort to make any progress and hated getting my face wet, so I joined an adult ‘learn to swim’ class at my local leisure centre. There were about 10 of us in the class and we were separated into two groups- those who couldn’t swim at all and improvers.
There were 10 lessons and by lesson 6 I could swim under water, and could do the crawl. The feeling of gliding through the water and not getting out of breath was glorious!
I’d certainly recommend the classes to anyone whatever age.

B9exchange Sun 08-Nov-20 14:57:54

I would love to be able to swim, but terrified of putting my face in water, and panic if both legs come off the bottom. I also hate cold water, it would have to be about 30 degrees before I could even get in. I had 10 years of swimming lessons at school, and never managed it, so I don't think there is any hope for me now. I did pay for DH to have swimming lessons when he was in his 60s, he went for a week's intensive residential course, but at the end of that he could only swim the width of a small pool whilst holding his breath. I don't think there is any hope for us! sad