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Straight in at the deep end

Most of us take skills such as being able to swim for granted,but Kate Saines was scared of the water as a child and avoided lessons. Now approaching 40,she discovers that learning one new thing can open up a plethora of possibilities


Sitting beside a pool in Spain,I watch my husband and children swimming,playing and generally having a rip-roaring time in the water. There are squeals of delight,hysterical laughter and lots of splashing. It’s a blissful moment to be treasured. Except,actually,it’s not – for me,at least. Because instead of feeling joy,I am riddled with bitterness and frustration. There’s a blip,you see,as at the age of nearly 40,I have never learned to swim,and so I am exempt from the fun.

Negative beginnings

How have I got this far in life without learning such a basic skill? It’s a good question and goes back to childhood. My parents didn’t swim and were vociferous in their dislike of pools. My first trip to the local baths was with school,and was full of negative preconceptions. My classmates,at ease and competent through independent lessons and pool holidays,were accustomed to the situation. But,for me,it was alien.

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About Psychologies

If you're feeling depleted, out of sorts and ready for a holiday, then this issue is for you. Our 18-page dossier on how to renew your strength shares scientifically proven ways to fill up your tank and keep it full. If you’re hitting the beach but want to revolutionise the way you see yourself, turn to page 46 and learn about the new mindset to adopt to finally find peace with your body. This month, we invite you to train your brain to think differently but we also invite you to sing, dance and play. Why? Because it’s not only good for your soul, it’s good for your health. Learn how the arts can help you live a long, happy life. Here’s to a long, happy summer!