I like to run.
So, a couple of months ago this friend of mine asked me causally, considering I’m into fitness and all, whether I could swim. My reply was a flat ‘no’. ‘Okay’, she goes and asked if I knew how to ride a bike? ‘Ummm, no’, I said. ‘And I know for sure that you don’t drive or don’t like to drive’, she continued, ‘so if ever there’s an earthquake, a flood or a tsunami of sorts or any other emergency situation, people will either be on their bikes, motorbikes or cars and the ones that can swim will swim to vacate town and save their lives and you will be the only one on foot. Hahaha…’, she laughed. I wasn’t amused. But my dear friend had opened my eyes more than a bit to my lack of life saving skills set. ‘I’ve got to learn to do all those things’, I decided in my stubborn little head in that very moment.
So the first chance I got, I signed up for a refresher driving course and as soon as I was done with that I called a friend of mine to check where I could go for swimming lessons and he highly recommended Coach Khan, having been his student himself from the previous year, and directed me to his pool. And the rest is history – in the making.
Please don’t bother calling him by his first name, let alone the full name, if ever you think that you’re drowning, (don’t worry he will not allow you to drown on his watch) you will not be able to call out a four syllable name – Mo-hi-ud-din. That’ll be a lot of breath wasted and your call for help will probably drown in his constant yelling yelping demand for a rapid “Kick Kick Kick Kick…”
So “Coach” as we lovingly or begrudgingly choose to call him, in our class that could put an episode of Mind Your Language to shame, has been the most patient, persistent (even as either of us were on the brink of giving up), and kind instructor, generous in going an extra mile (Read: Bonus Lessons); a brilliant instructor, a teacher most skilled in what he’s so passionate about in life and just as enthusiastic to teach others. He understands each and every individual’s limitations and is very empathetic, always keen to listen to each one of his students and simplifying the most difficult to comprehend techniques down to each student’s IQ or lack thereof.
Swimming, (let’s not get ahead of ourselves here) actually “learning to swim” has been one of the most exciting and yes, sometimes challenging fun-thing to do for me. It feels so great to be immersed in water and to learn how to navigate it’s fluidity, a completely different terrain from the rough running tracks. It makes you feel so light to just float on water and relax your mind or to shun all noise of the world from your head and swim under water. It’s a very relaxing and therapeutic activity and a low impact full body workout with great fitness benefits. You’ll also sleep like a baby at night. Zzzzz…
We’ve done some group activities and had a healthy competition where everyone was ever willing to let the other win and to encourage and use laughter (I wish we had a bloopers tape haha…) as a cheering up tool. Coach Khan has a great sense of humour that’ll have you in splits under water like me. Not a good thing for a fact, laughing under water, id est. But fun for sure! 🙂
And be warned, if you make a mistake his trademark water squirts with the snapping of his fingers will fry the mother of your brain if the chlorinated water hits your nostrils, (I’m pretty sure it’s no recurring coincidence and he’s pretty much aiming for that exactly) it’ll travel to your eyes through your sinuses. Ouch!
Remember, practice makes perfect. And if I can do it, you can definitely do it!