NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The coronavirus pandemic has people across the world picking up new skills and some of them could save lives.
52-year-old Michelle Mapp has never really been comfortable in the water and now she is sharing her story of a learning experience decades in the making.
She spends every Tuesday night at a swimming pool learning lifesaving skills.
“I think, like many people, I had a bad experience at the beach when I was younger and although I learned how to swim, kinda, technically at the pool I was never really comfortable,” said Mapp.
That experience caused her to be nervous in the water over the years.
“I was probably about 13, 14 years old and my family had gone to Folly Beach; I had gone pretty far out and I was in a tube and it flipped over and I couldn’t flip myself back over and someone actually had to come and get me,” said Mapp.
Years later, she is taking time for herself working to build her confidence each week.
“My kids graduated, so I told my husband I said I think I’m gonna take a swim class and so I think it’s just I have more time in my schedule and it just fit,” said Mapp, who has been going to British Swim School of Charleston since September of last year.
“We’ve seen a surprising number of adults wanting to swim this year and they’ve all got really interesting stories,” said Bryan Cook who is the franchise owner of British Swim School of Charleston.
Cooks says some people swim for many reasons including exercise, losing weight, or learning different kinds of swimming strokes.
“From being scared to timid to excited and confident. You watch this lifetime of fear just melt off off somebody and so that’s really, really rewarding to see,” said Cook.
“I’m very comfortable in the water. I love the water. I look forward to coming to my lessons each week,” said Mapp, who is making up for the time she lost swimming by becoming more comfortable in the water.
“You know, my husband was in the Navy, so he swims, my kids swim, and so now I can say that I’m a swimmer, too,” said Mapp.
For anyone interested in taking adult swimming lessons, click here.