Every year in the end of August and September, all those adults who missed another summer of swimming rue the fact that they still haven't done anything about it. They deluge our inbox with orders for books and DVDs. And classes. We're full for the rest of the fall.
Though they can see from our website where our licensed instructors are, some not covered by our list desperately ask anyway: do you have any instructors in my town? In my state? —"No, sorry! We need email addresses of instructors in that state. If you'd like to ask your last instructor if s/he'd like to be on our list, that would be a start."
The 4000 adults I've had in class since 1983 who swear they couldn't have learned any other way—"I've tried—" ask us, "Why isn't all swimming taught your way? Why wasn't I taught this way the first time?"
One woman, a graduate of Jon Foss's swim school in Minneapolis, was so exasperated at the paucity of adult swimming lessons by knowledgeable instructors that she formed an organization to connect non-swimmers with good swimming lessons programs. Swimmunity is the brainchild of Larissa Rodriguez, who learned to swim last year at the age of 40. She says:
I founded Swimmunity to bring greater awareness to the need for adult swim lessons and to address the many issues that make adults either stop (or never enter) the swim lesson "buying" process. The number of adults who can't swim in this country (even more so for minority populations, as you know) is unacceptable. It's not just the life-saving nature of swimming, but also the huge health benefits that swimming offers. There are a lot of myths out there that need to be dispelled (i.e., only kids learn to swim, all adults already know how to swim, adults aren't at risk of drowning, etc.)
Thank you, Laryssa. With your help, maybe all those late-summer realizations that "I still can't swim" will lead adults to a good swimming class somewhere.