I have known how to swim ever since I can remember. My family was very explorative so my childhood took place on boats and around the water. Not learning how to swim was'nt really an option. While we did use the traditional methods of learning to swim that took place in the local parks and recreation pool, my dad was also fond of the "Let's just toss them into the water and they will learn how to float" method. It was almost literally sinking or swimming at that point. That being said, there was always an adult swimming next to us if anyone was failing to swim or float.
Every spring and summer and even sometimes winter, my mom would bustle my brother and I off to the city pool for swim lessons. The teachers there were usually high school students who worked as lifeguards and were on the swim team. They made it fun and enjoyable. It also didn't hurt that after we passed a level of swim class (yes there were levels) that my mom would buy us something out of the vending machine or ice cream cart. That was incentive enough because my mom was notoriously against packaged food of all kinds... To this day I have never eaten a Lunchable.
It was not until I was older that I realized that my experience was not the same as everyone else around me. There were some people who did not know how to swim and it shocked me. How could that be! That was so dangerous. It wasn't until I realized how much of a privilege swimming lessons were that I began to really look at it as a problem. For the most part, the idea of swim lessons is expensive and exclusionary. It costs money to apply and for children to make it there at young ages, parents have to be there. For a lot of families, this isn't feasible. Their lives would not be able to function with one provider missing work.
That broke my heart and incentivized me to figure out how to change the narrative of this chapter for peoples lives. Swimming should be open to all and should be safe for all. There have been too many people I know that have not known how to swim and have been lost to this tragedy. I spent a lot of time wishing there was a simple way to fix this epidemic and crisis, until I realized something very true. It takes a village to raise a child. Reach out to the people around you and if they don't know how to swim and you do, try to help. Email local parks and recreation districts, ask how you can help or volunteer, and let's go swimming cause the only scary thing about the pool should be being the last one in.