The Mayo Advertiser’s Caroline Staunton is well-known for her performances on the rugby field with Castlebar Ladies RFC but she set herself a different type of active challenge this year - to learn how to swim.
To help her on her way, she enrolled the help of the fitness team at Breaffy Resort Leisure Centre. Here is how she got on.
“I am a great woman for making plans and resolutions and not following them through.
“As many of us do coming close to the start of a New Year, last December I made a few resolutions of my own and amongst the usual (lose weight, save money etc ), this year, I decided that I would learn to swim and I was determined to stick to it.
“Like most other people my age, I partook in swimming lessons in school but it was something I never excelled at.
“I have been saying for years that I needed to get lessons but, surprise, surprise, I never seemed to get around to it.
“This summer I am going to America to do some travelling, and after an experience on the Great Barrier Reef a couple of years ago that involved me using a foam noodle as a buoyancy aid to do a spot of snorkelling, I swore I’d never go travelling again until I could swim (using a noodle isn’t a good look on anyone! ).
“So at the tender age of 28, I finally took the plunge - excuse the pun - and signed up a few short weeks ago on a course of group swimming lessons at Breaffy Leisure Club.
“I wasn't quite sure what to expect, and to be honest I was embarrassed at the thought of learning to swim again, but I figured what the heck and went along to my first class.
“On arrival, our instructor Lorraine introduced herself to us. She spoke to myself and the other six clients in the group and asked us a few simple questions about what we wanted from the class.
“From there she got us to complete a few tasks to gauge where we were with our swimming, ability wise.
“We started the first class with the basics of floating and making sure everyone was comfortable with having their head under water, which is actually quite a test for people.
“From here we progressed on to the front crawl stroke. We spent two to three lessons perfecting the actual stroke before continuing onto the breathing,which unfortunately I still haven’t been able to master - although it would help if I practised a bit more outside of my lessons.
“Last week we started learning the breaststroke and I am slowly beginning to get the hang of, although I am still finding the breathing difficult.
“Our our last evening of lessons we practised our two strokes and Lorraine pointed out what we needed to do in order to improve our techniques.
“At the start of the course I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of progression, but I am pleased to say that I have gained a huge amount of confidence in the water and, although I am not doing lengths just yet, I am definitely on the right track.
“A huge thank you must go to my instructor Lorraine, who has the patience of a saint. She made everyone feel extremely comfortable in the water and she split the class into groups so that everyone progressed at their own pace.
“So where to from here? Well I won’t be entering any competitions anytime soon but I have signed up for membership to make the use of the pool facilites and as they say, practice makes perfect!”
For more information on swimming lessons at Breaffy Resort Leisure Centre, contact (094 ) 9044150 or email [email protected].