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Learning to Swim

The Story of How and Why

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Learning to Swim

#6 (Antonio Kobe Lopez) prepares to pass the ball as both teams swim after a change of possession

#6 (Antonio Kobe Lopez) prepares to pass the ball as both teams swim after a change of possession

#6 (Antonio Kobe Lopez) prepares to pass the ball as both teams swim after a change of possession

#6 (Antonio Kobe Lopez) prepares to pass the ball as both teams swim after a change of possession

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Living in California offers a number of benefits for those who decide to make it their home. The weather throughout the state is what many might refer to as ideal, the Bay Area specifically is home to numerous tech companies that make it the promise land of computer scientists, and its position on the West Coast means one is never more than a few hours drive to the beach.

For those California residents that are comfortable in and around the water, the beach is a beautiful place to get away from the weight of daily life and to temporarily wash away the pressure of life. To enjoy this natural retreat to its fullest, however, the ability to swim is indispensable.

Personally, I learned the basics of swimming when I was fairly young. Among my father’s interesting hobbies was scuba diving, and while I never quite caught on, he decided it was best for me to at least learn how to not drown, a skill I would strongly advocate you to learn if you haven’t already. My aquatic education was a sporadic occurrence for years, only really taking any time for it when we went on vacation and had access to a pool. When I arrived in high school, I had only just learned how to semi-properly swim a freestyle stroke (the one where your arms move in circles).

Joining the water polo team, believe it or not, necessitated that I improve my swimming technique. Within a year I was able to become more confident in the water than I ever grown in my previous decade of swimming experience.

There a few choices in your life that you know you’ll never regret, and learning how to swim was one of them for me.

Besides being an exceptionally effective workout, swimming brings with it many benefits. In High School, specifically Mount Pleasant, the aquatics program is a tight-knit group of athletes who don’t so much compete for the sake of winning, but for the journey that one takes to get there. Being able to work together on a common skill away from the academic pressure that classes put on you, builds of a sense of comradery with your fellow swimmers.

On a more personal note, swimming, much like running, give you the opportunity to relax your mind and forget about other distractions. With your face immersed in the water, doing a lap or two offers you the ability to filter out everything else going on around you and just focus on the moment, something that any high school student could use every once and a while.

On a less cheerful note, practicing swimming is simply a useful safety skill. Being able to swim could easily save your life or the life of some around you just by being able to move to safety.

So how should you learn to swim?

First of all, don’t do it alone, at least not at first. No one tries riding a bike without initial help and the same goes for swimming. If you know anyone that can swim, bring them along just in case, and maybe they can even give you a few pointers. Community pools are great spaces to try for the first time, but if you’re in high school you have an even better resource.

Mount Pleasant’s aquatics program is always willing to bring in new swimmers or just spread the knowledge and asking for help is completely free. Ask your athletic directors about when the swim team is practicing, or see if you can find a swimmer on campus then simply let them know you’re interested. The swim team usually practices every day of the week after seventh period in the pool behind the gym, so drop by if you can’t find anyone during the day.

With all this information there’s really only one question left. Why not take full advantage of California’s coast and learn to swim?

About the Writer
Antonio Kobe Lopez, Editor-in-Chief

Antonio Kobe Lopez was a senior at Mt. Pleasant High School when he worked to restart the newspaper. He is involved in a multitude of on-campus clubs and...

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