Be Brave (And other lessons learned from the edge of the diving board)

Aiden has been taking group swim lessons every day for the past few weeks, because our local pool is the best and offers every-day-lessons-for-3-weeks-at-a-time for only $25. The group of toddlers/preschoolers bob their whole heads in the water, they hold onto the wall and kick their legs, they flail their little arms in a hilarious attempt at "freestyle arms." (See my favorite toddler/baby swim items here.)

At the end of each lesson, the kids line up at the diving board and jump off to their lifeguard-teacher who's waiting SO patiently to catch them and help them "swim" to the ladder. The parents and other swim lesson teachers stand around, encouraging each little guy who's too afraid to jump: "You can do it! Here ya go! You got this, buddy!" It's the sweetest thing.

For the first 3 weeks, Aiden would walk to the egde of the diving board cautiously.

He'd put his toes at the edge of the board.

And then he'd stand there and cry, telling us "I don't WANT to jump!!!!!!!" (Until the lifeguard on duty would lower him gently off the board to his teacher in the pool, who would then encourage my crying toddler all the way to the ladder: "You did it! You were so brave! I caught you, didn't I? Let's see those big kicks...can you kick all the way to the ladder? You're doing so great!")

He seemed to like swim lessons overall, so I signed him up for another 3-week session. On the first day of swim lessons with a new lifeguard-teacher, he told me: "Mommy, I going to jump off the diving board BY MYSELF."

Sure enough, he walked his little toes to the edge of the diving board. He bent his knees,




He was so proud of himself, and he "swam" all the way to the ladder saying "MOM, I DID IT!"

I was so proud that he got up the courage to try something that seemed scary. I was so proud that he overcame his fear and tried something new!

diving board swim lessons inspiration

Lessons we can all learn from this swimming lesson victory: 

  1. Be brave. It takes courage to even get yourself to the edge of that "diving board"--whatever that is for you...the signing up for a new yoga class, talking to a new neighbor, having a hard but necessary conversation with a friend, stepping up for a big project at work, etc. 

  2. Try new things. Sometimes new things are scary at first, but once you try them, you realize you can do it! (Which is word-for-word what reminded Aiden in those first 3 weeks of lessons!)

  3. Encourage others around you. Be like the other swim-teacher-lifeguards who called out encouragement to the little kids stood at the edge of the diving board, too scared to take the leap. We live in an age where it's SOOO easy to get in touch with people, so send them a Snap, text, or old-fashioned note saying that you're inspired by them and that they're doing a great job at ____. 

Last year, I wrote a list of things I learned over the summer, and I want to write another list like that at the end of this summer, too! What would be on your list of things you've learned so far this summer? What's one new thing you are trying or want to try?

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