Years ago, too many to count, I started my “career” as a swim lessons instructor. Actually, I was a lifeguard who had to teach a few lessons during my shift.
At this point I had been swimming competitively for over a decade so knew a thing or two about strokes. But I really learned “everything” I know about swim lessons from older, more experienced lifeguards… how to tell a kid to kick (point your toes like a ballerina), how to keep your fingers together to make scoops (like you’re making and ice cream sundae), etc. One of my favorite things to teach a beginner swimmer is how to float… on your back like the letter T or on your belly like Superman.
Over the years I’ve seen it all during swim lessons. Some swimmers spend the whole time being scared to get in the water. Others fixing their goggles to make them just right. And still others that have no fear in the world and jump right in and sink to the bottom saying “I don’t need your help!” Some kids catch on quickly and others spend the summer on the same task week after week.
But today I was surprised. Liam and I were working of floats. His back float was coming along nicely so I flipped him over to work on his front float. I reminded him to make his body like Superman soaring through the air for this float with his face in the water blowing bubbles.
He did just as I told him but with one arm out in front and one on his hip. I looked at him puzzled. “Both arms out in front,” I reminded him.
To which he look at me and said with his eyes “Superman flies with one arm out. I am pretending to be Superman.”
Well then… that’s the first and last time I teach front floats that way to a Superhero expert! Lesson learned.