May not seem like much of an achievement but it is one to me. Thought I’d describe how I learnt so that others can too (and to gloat :)).
First step - Holding my breath underwater: The first few times, I’d come up coughing water. Then, out of blue, after a dozen attempts, I realized I was not coughing anymore. I’d finally got the knack of not instinctively breathing through my nose but to hold my breath.
Second step - Floating: “Just let go - your body will automatically float” everyone said. But it just wouldn’t happen - no matter how many times I tried. But once I learned to control my breathing, I started floating too. I could only do this on my stomach but still it was an improvement. Gradually I was able to increase the time I stayed afloat - from a few seconds to…. a few more seconds :)..
Third step - Letting go of the rink: This was the hardest. Though I was now able to control my breathing and to float, I couldn’t let go of the rink all morning. In the evening, determined to give it a try, I let go for a second and caught it again quickly. Then let it go for a while longer and then a little longer. Finally, I got enough confidence to push myself away from the rink altogether. That the pool was only 4 feet deep helped :).
Fourth step - swimming: This was easy compared to the earlier one. I just did what I’d seen on TV and presto - I was moving forward!
Next step: Have to learn how to breathe while swimming. I just hold my breath all the time I’m swimming and so can’t go very far :).
That then is the story of how I learned to swim. Took me 2 days in an empty pool with only family around (The privacy helped :) - would have been too embarrassed otherwise). If you want to learn but haven’t yet, recommend these steps :).