I still remember the first time I entered the swimming pool for a swim. It was fun and since then, I have not held back.
Swimming is an exciting experience. If you swim, you will understand. If you have never swum before however, then this note is for you.
Below is what I call the 10 Commandments of having a fantastic and unforgettable first time swimming experience.
Don’t go to the stream in your village. I agree that you are #TeamNatural, but biko let it not go past your hair, face and your meals.
Your first time is not the time for you to go and start forming James Bond. Don’t ever go to the bar beach for instance and mistakenly think of having a little swim. No try am.
If you do, it may not just be your first swimming experience. It may equally be your last.
Don’t go alone
Biko take somebody with you. Better still let it be someone that knows how to swim. It is not as if swimming is a dangerous sport, but it can be risky too.
I don’t intend to scare you, but you need to get the facts straight. According to WHO, about 372,000 people died from drowning in 2012. In fact, approximately nine people die from drowning everyday in the US.
I know you “cannot die but live. . .” Just make sure you don’t go alone for the first time.
Don’t go on a Saturday (unless you like a crowd)
Many swimming pools are usually crowded during the weekends. Yes, so many other people like you also wish to unwind and have fun. No be only you sabi catch fun.
If you are like me, you may not really like crowded swimming pools. There is usually no space for you to do all you want. Moreover, the bigger the crowd, the dirtier it becomes.
Let’s face it, people do all sorts of things in the swimming pool. From spitting to blowing their noses, to farting and in some weird cases, urinating and even having sex.
If such things put you off, take a day off and go on a Monday or any other weekday. You may be surprised that there may be no more than two or three people to share the pool with.
Buy a swimming wear.
I cannot emphasize this enough. Both males and females have something specific to wear. You can easily see these in shops around the hotel you want to swim in. If not, ask around, it is easy to see and buy.
Just buy something that hugs your body and still makes you comfortable. Don’t buy anything loose or weak. It can pull off inside water. And unless you are into skinny dipping, you may not find it funny.
That said, even if you like the idea of being naked, save it for when you go to your village stream, when you go to obodo oyibo, or when you have your own private pool. Here in Nigeria, people frown at PDN (Public Display of Nakedness).
Please go with a towel and a change of clothes. There is always a bathroom beside most swimming pools where you should bathe and change.
After swimming, you can still take another bath if you wish (Relax, it is free. This is not Oshodi under bridge).
Use a life buoy
If this is your first time, make sure you have life buoy or a tube before you jump into the pool. Unfortunately, many swimming pools in Nigeria don’t have it. If you can get one yourself, please do. If not…that’s why you didn’t come alone. Someone will save you if you start to drown.
Make sure a life guard is on stand by
Ask the hotel for a life guard too. Bikonu my people, ndu adiro abuo (Life has no duplicate). Assuming there are no life guards too (we are talking about Nigeria here, so don’t be surprised) Now you see why I emphasized that you make sure you go with someone that knows how to swim.
Stay at the shallow side and near the edges
My brothers and my sisters, your first time in the swimming pool is not for you to form ‘badass’. I know you may have entered a Jacuzzi or a water-filled bath tub before, and you probably think you have ‘experience’.
I laugh in Spanish. They are two different things.
When you go to the swimming pool as a newbie, please stay at the shallow side. Don’t get carried away and go to 12 or 14 feet.
Wetin you dey find go there? That babe wey you wan impress can be impressed later. Not with your life biko (please).
Ignore the Swimminology ‘Professors’ wannabe
This point is mainly for ladies. There are a lot of ‘swimming professors’ in most swimming pools. They are usually guys who know how to swim. Once they notice that you are a newbie, they will come and offer their unsolicited service.
They will show you some crazy swimming skills to impress you, then smile at you with pity before coming over to ‘help’. Some of these guys have good motives, but most don’t.
- Tell you to climb their backs
- Promise to carry you with their hands (strategically placed on your boobs and ass)
- Are always touching your boobs, ass and groin area ‘mistakenly’
My dear, run away. Unless of course you sef dey enjoy the touching body.
Make up your mind to learn something new without fear
The main reason that prevents most people from learning how to swim is fear. It happened to me too. Entering water for the first time felt strange. I was standing, but I also felt like I was floating. I was scared of totally immersing myself in the water and losing control.
Finally I did it and I came out again.
The formula I used was to tell myself that no matter what happens, all I need to do is to get to the floor of the pool and then stand up straight (so far as I remain in the shallow area).
Initially I struggled and fought the water, beating vehemently as I tried to get air. However immediately I learned my new formula, things became easier.
I was no longer afraid of swimming for small distances. I knew that no matter what happens; I won’t drown.
Bonus point: Have fun
Make new friends. Play water games. Splash water around at people. Just loosen up and have fun. Swimming is a fun experience, don’t lose out on it.
Do you swim? When was your first time? What was your first time like? If you don’t when will you try it?
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Felix Mizioznikov (Feature Image) *Other images belong to the writer*