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Swimming at Seventy – A Water Warrior's Tale


Lady swimming in pool

Swimming at Seventy – A Water Warrior's Tale


I started my life seventy years ago in a small town in one of the coldest parts of the UK not known for breeding Olympic swimmers. I never learned to swim at school as the swimming baths were in the next town, about five miles away, and required the school hiring a bus so we went swimming about twice and I don’t remember receiving any instruction, we just splashed about a bit. After moving to Australia in the 1980’s I tried to learn to swim, whist living in Canberra, but really didn’t get very far and more or less gave up, sadly resigning myself to being a non-swimmer.


Despite not being able to swim I always loved being in the water but got very nervous when I couldn’t feel the bottom of the pool so when I saw the ad for Metaqua which said I didn’t need to be able to swim to enjoy the exercises I thought ”Why not, let’s just see”. Finding out that I would be wearing flippers and have a board to help keep me afloat made me feel more confident in the water. Meeting the other ladies in the class also got me over my concern about not looking like a supermodel in my cossie as all of us were different ages, shapes and sizes and nobody cared, we were all there to get fitter, toned and have fun which is exactly what Metaqua is all about.


At first I would only go to the half way mark so I wouldn’t be out of my depth but now, thanks to Amanda’s teaching, I confidently go up and down the pool and Metaqua is something I really look forward to twice a week. I can now do 26 laps and each week do more and have lost my fear of the water. Doing Metaqua has allowed me to feel comfortable in the water and given me the confidence to reach out to Amanda and take lessons so that I can learn to swim properly. For the first time in my life I am able to put my face in the water without fear and I now know how to breathe the right way. It’s hard to describe how exciting and liberating it feels to know that I am on my way to being a confident swimmer.


So Metaqua and Amanda have opened up a whole new, lovely world for me and for anyone who is still on the fence about joining Metaqua, for a variety of reasons, I would just say do it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain and if I can start something new at seventy, anyone can. I am only sad that I didn’t learn to swim as a child, who knows maybe I could have been one of the first Olympic swimmers from the North-East of England!!


The Water Warrior Project is a joint project of inspiration between Amanda, Metaqua Instructor from @swimminginthefield, and Lara Flanagan, Photographer from @mynotesfrom


Lady smiling

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