A couple of weeks ago my two oldest daughters had the opportunity to meet and hear from the amazingly accomplished marathon swimmer Vicky Keith. Vicky currently holds 16 world records is the first swimmer to complete the crossing of all five great lakes, the first double crossing of Lake Ontario, the first butterfly crossing of the English Channel, etc, etc.
After this opportunity, the girls and I talked about many of the things that Vicky Keith had accomplished and we talked about about butterfly swimming and how challenging it is to do. The next day I received an invitation from AquaMermaid for my daughters to come and try out mermaid swimming in Ottawa.
Learn to Swim Like a Mermaid
We went and tried out the class last weekend. More accurately the girls were the ones learning to swim like a mermaid. There didn’t appear to be tails in my size, plus I had to be prepared for the hard work of taking pictures of my girls with tails. Swimming like a mermaid involves being able to do the dolphin kick – also known as the kick you do with that butterfly stroke that Vicky Keith used to cross the English Channel.
I was a member of my high school swim team for a year and I trained and worked as a lifeguard for many years. No matter how much I trained and tried, I could not crack the dolphin kick. It is a full body kick and while it allows you to move through the water quite fast it is a hard kick to master, until it clicks for you and you figure out how to get your body moving. Plus it apparently requires abdominal muscles – quite a few of them and that may have been my downfall.
My girls are not strong swimmers and I was initially concerned about the idea of the class since they would have their legs stuck together in a mermaid tail and I wasn’t sure how they would fare without free movement of their legs. The team at AquaMermaid assured me they would be ok and they did a swim assessment before getting into the class. I was still ready to dive in to rescue them nonetheless.
My girls didn’t master the dolphin kick in this intro class. There were a couple of girls who were maybe 12 or 13 who are regular attendees – they have a monthly pass and can come to as many classes as they like. They had mastered the dolphin kick and were racing along through the water in their mermaid tails. I think the tails would probably help a swimmer to learn the kick because you are forced to use your legs together and don’t have the option to break free and into a freestyle or other kick.
Swim Like a Mermaid in Ottawa
AquaMermaid offers the classes every Saturday afternoon at the Lowertown pool in Ottawa. They are also available in Montreal and Toronto. You can also buy your very own tails which you can wear for your classes or just around the house while you are watching The Little Mermaid or Splash.
While I wasn’t directly compensated for writing this post, AquaMermaid provided my daughters with the opportunity to participate in the mermaid swimming introductory lesson for free.