When my oldest daughter was 3 years old a friend of ours suggested we take our kid all the way to Nashville to these swim lessons.
What? That’s over an hour one way, and the lessons are $180 for 1 week.
1 hour a day for 5 days.
That means I will spend $180 + $30 a day on gas + 4 hours of my day.
That’s a lot, and honestly I was very hesitant to start off with.
My wife went the first day and said it was AWFUL. Johnna cried the whole time.
Mrs. Caroline would not let the parents watch at all, because she said if the kids saw the parents they would get more upset.
So, she kept the kids from seeing the parents and she warned us that the kids would come up with every excuse in the book as to why they did not want to go back. She said they would HATE coming and even hide their bathing suit at home in hopes that they would not have to come back.
But, the 70 year old swim teacher looked at us in her gold chain and gold rings and said in her New Zealand accent.. “Bring them anyway… It will save their life”
So, we did and by the end of the week my 3 year old loved Mrs. Caroline and could not wait to see her again.
By the end of that 1st week, Jackie and I were standing on the diving board throwing our 3 year old off like we were chunking watermelon scraps into the lake after a summer party, only to see her roll to her back in survival.
My favorite ‘Mrs. Caroline Story’ is on last day of the lessons, she would gather all the kids outside of the pool on the edge of the deck and would talk to them about what they would do in case they fell in a lake, river, or pool and in unison, like a bunch of brainwashed German boarding school students, they would recite the mantras she had drilled into their little, impressionable heads all week long.
She asked the group “What would you do if you if you were at the lake and you fell in the water?” About the time she started the last word of the sentence the college age workers who had all been through the whole series of classed through the years started throwing the kids in the pool like they were barrels of tea at the Boston Tea Party.
After about 5 seconds all the kids were in the pool floating on their backs just like the Swim Nazi had taught them all week.
Johnna started when she was 3. She will be 9 in November, and she still goes every year. As the years go by, they have more advanced classes to help the kids become the best swimmers they can be. At 8 years old my daughter can float on her back, freestyle swim, knows how to back stroke and butterfly. How many 8 year olds do you know that can do that? Understand this, my intention is not that my kid becomes the next Michael Phelps. I want them to learn to survive in any water situation.
One of the most eye opening things I saw in this process was one day we were leaving the lessons and a grandmother walked up with her granddaughter. I overheard her in a conversation talking about her love for Mrs Caroline and how she was so excited to bring her granddaughter to the same lady that taught her how to swim…. that’s crazy.
She is hard on the kids, she refuses to take excuses and forces them to succeed. She has been doing it long enough to see when there is a problem and is wise enough to know how to handle each and every situation.
I love the mental toughness she and her son Brendan bestow on the kids. They are teaching these kids TRUE life skills and true mental toughness, and that makes me smile to know that my kids can handle it.
Watch this video to see them in action; you will be amazed at what they make these kids do.
Visit their website and get your kids enrolled into this class, it will save their life.
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