Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Advice: Swim Class and CP

Ok so I had my first day in the pool and I was excitingly nervous. So I was looking hot (been exercising) so body game = kinda hot. so i got in the pool and i was like yay and then the teacher said walk up front, not touching the wall…and that’s when everything derailed.
My body froze up like Ii couldn’t move and I wanted to punch myself in the face. I couldn’t stand in the water. After the lesson was over, the teacher was like maybe I should try again next time because this class is too advanced and get a private tutor in the meantime ($$) but i was mentally screaming like NOOOOOOO I have been dreaming of this day for too long and my disability will not screw one over on me again. no. I’m going to go to the pool on friday and try to get over the body stiffness. Any advice is apperciated

I can't think of advice off the top of my head, but I do have questions, and maybe they'll lead you to solutions:
How was the temperature of the water?  My spasticity is worse with cold, so that could definitely have played a part in your freezing up.  I'd also suggest doing all you can to stay mentally and physically relaxed.  For me, sometimes that means consciously telling my muscles to relax.  You could try stretching beforehand, too, maybe.  
Does your swim teacher have experience teaching people with CP?  That's a pretty big leap to judgment over something you can't control.  It'd definitely work in your favor if your teacher were familiar with CP and the ways spasticity affects you.
I'm not a professional, just a fellow person with CP.  Hopefully something in this response is helpful for you.

Hi! Thank you for answering my post!I have the same problem with my cp as well. Cold water is a no go for me. The water wasn't too bad (it was a little cold) but my body got accustomed to it pretty well for the first time. I think it was somewhat of a little mental block as well since I never actually walked in water and my balance on land is not so great so my mind kind of froze. I think my teacher has had disabled people in the past, it's just i'm taking it with more able-bodied students.

Especially if it was your first time, I'd say be patient.  Don't be afraid to talk to your teacher about what you, specifically, need.  Even if it's extra time to master something while the rest move onto something else.  I have walked in pool water before, myself, in a middle school swimming unit in gym class.  And the more I think about it, the more I'm sure it happened near the end of the unit.  It definitely didn't happen the very first day. So, give yourself time, and don't give up.  If you have any more questions, let me know!  I'd love to try and help.