A FEW MONTHS AGO, my nine-year-old son, Chirag,* won his first silver at a swim meet. Watching him that day, as he calmly dived into the pool and took off with graceful strokes, it seemed like he could swim before he could walk. His dad is a competitive swimmer and a former champion, so surely it must be in his genes? Wrong! Until a few years ago, he was terrified of water. It wasn’t his fault. His dislike came from my own childhood phobia.
One summer, as children, my brother and I went to a pool with my father, to learn the basics of swimming—how to stay afloat, a little kicking and some forward crawls. All that went well and soon it was time for proper lessons. A coach was hired and he agreed to do a trial round. He took us to the deep end to ‘see what we knew’ and asked us to swim across the breadth of the pool and just left us there.
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