Monday, July 19, 2010

she swims!

at the beginning of the summer, as i watched many of leah's peers really get the hang of playing in the water or begin to take swimming lessons, i admit i was a bit blue. i just wanted there to be one place where leah was at least semi-normal. where people couldn't immediately tell she was different.

the girl loves water. the pool has been her sanctuary for the past three years, so it seemed a good choice.

i bought a flotation vest that went around her chest as well as each arm. it completely constricted her movement and kept flipping her over to her front or backside because she can't control her body well enough.

back = sun her her face. front = water in her face. both = no good.

then we had a play date with our favorite miss aves who was sporting our new favorite friend, mr. safe t. seal himself. you should have seen this girl move in the water! she was a pro.

so, the next week, i went out and bought leah her very own safe t. seal. we tried him multiple times and, much to my dismay, she was terrified to let go of me. the vest takes a lot of core control and you have to learn how to balance yourself, which is exactly what i wanted her to learn to do. we got her to float on her own for a few seconds at best. the minute her chin hit water, she would panic, flap her arms like a maniac and begin to drown {or so she thought - we, of course, were still holding onto her}.

a few weeks ago, i got her to balance and float on her own for about a minute at a time, which was great progress, although the fellow pool goers probably didn't appreciate her constant screaming throughout the process.

last saturday, the girl turned professional. she's incredible! within an hour, she went from floating on her own/slowly falling over to kicking with her legs and paddling as well as her silly little arms would let her paddle. no matter that water was splashing in and out of her mouth. she didn't care! she was having a great time.

today i took her back. it took her maybe five minutes to warm up to the idea again and then she took control. if i was holding her, she would often push away so she could float by herself and today she even controlled her movement enough to swim TO me. as in her brain telling her she wanted to go a certain direction and her body letting her move that direction!

tears to my eyes, i tell ya.

and here's the proof. this was all taken on saturday. the first video shows her hesitancy and her not-quite-perfected balancing and the other two segments speak for themselves.

yay, leah! we have ourselves a swimmer!


Erica said...

awesome. awesome. awesome!
this for sure means you guys need to come up here again! go leah go!

mj said...

is that an invitation? if so, we're there!

Molly said...

Yay! That thing is awesome. Tears in my eyes, too! I am so excited for Leah.

Jen said...

Go Leah go!!! Add on another. . . awesome!

Shannon said...

What a sweet victory. She is the cutest little swimmer. Go Leah! So glad you got it on video and shared it with us :). Made me smile. Made me happy.

Dyan said...

Good job, Leah! This makes me so happy:) Great video.

Morgan said...

so awesome!! i saw a kid wearing one of those at the pool the other day and wondered what it was. it is nice that her arms and shoulders are completely free to move around.

Karen Hauley said...

I am so excited to see the potential in water therapy. Leah is soooo happy in the water and seems to feel such freedom in self-control

ed and kelli said...

this makes me wanna do the phyiscal therapy and get water certified.. i can be leah's therapist!!!! and WAY TO GO BEAN!!! can't wait to go swimming with you! you are such a pro that you can teach kenz! ps.. what pool is that?

Melanie Sharp said...

So awesome Maren. Way to go Leah!