Christine started swimming lessons with us in January, and formed a firm friendship with a fellow new swimmer, Jacquie. Milly caught up with Christine this week to interview her about her swimming journey.

M: What prompted you to want to learn to swim?

C: My generation didn’t really learn to swim, and didn’t have swimming lessons at school. But I made sure my children had swimming lessons, and I thought that was something I should have for myself as well.

M: What surprised you about your learn to swim journey?

C: I had no idea what I was getting myself in for, I didn’t know whether there were going to be people in my age group or if it was just going to be younger people. I rang and there was a class the next day, so I couldn’t get out of it! I went along, and that’s where I met Jacquie, who was in my age group. Jacquie and I formed a friendship and continued on from that day. We did the intro class, and then we started going every Monday for the 5 week intro course, and then we booked for another 8 weeks. So now it’s our Monday afternoon thing we do together.

M: How has your swim buddy changed your swimming journey?

C: I think it would have been very easy to not have committed to the next round of eight, or to have said ‘I don’t feel like going today’. But because you feel like you’re letting someone down, there’s more motivation to go, and you look forward to seeing each other and seeing what’s happened in each other’s lives in the past week.

M: What are your swim goals now?

C: I’ll never be Ian Thorpe, but just to be able to be a good swimmer and to know quite a few different styles of swimming, so you can go and join in things in the water and not be embarrassed.

M: What would you say to someone in the same position as you when you first started swimming?

C: Don’t think about it, just go. We were very lucky to find a great instructor in Jenny. She made it fun and enjoyable, and you certainly don’t feel embarrassed, you have a bit of a laugh at yourself. You just need to get on and do it. Every week we’ve improved, so that in itself is great motivation, to see a reasonable amount of improvement in a short amount of time. And it definitely helps having someone else to go with. We’d send each other emails during the week about swimming, and it was really nice to be able to do that, and to form a friendship out of it as well. And I’m a lot better than what I thought I would be! I thought it would be a real struggle but I’ve been doing much better than what I thought. And Jacquie and I have practised ourselves on days when we haven’t had classes, which shows how much motivation it gives you.