Thursday, August 1, 2013


A few months ago we embarked upon the adventure that is ISR (Infant Swimming Resource). This is basically like the boot camp of swim lessons. If you recently saw the video that made national news of the 16 month old swimming and floating across the pool without a floatie or parent to assist, that was the result of ISR. To say that these are intense swim lessons is an understatement. Since mid-May up until yesterday, both Sophie and Campbell (we decided to wait a year for Burke) have been going to a ten minute swim lessons Monday-Friday every week. I believe we went right at 8 weeks in a row. Campbell finished around 6 weeks, Sophie last Friday. They were expensive, it was a pain in the butt getting all 3 kids there every single day, listening to the girls scream in protest for the first 4-5 weeks every time I mentioned the words "swim lessons", and dealing with the hour ordeal it was getting there, having the lessons, and drying off/re-dressing two two year olds while making sure Burke didn't crawl into the pool, BUT, we did it.

And I would do it again. In a heartbeat.

Do I think these swim lessons are for everyone? Probably not. Around March of this year, my parents (who also have a pool we swim in 2-3 times a week) introduced this idea to my sister and I. I was extremely hesitant and downright against doing them. I mean, the girls liked the pool just OK on a good day, and most days would get in up to their chests and then be over it. How are they going to handle being dropped in the pool without having a panic attack? At the time, we were looking into Burke doing them as well. How on earth was I going to wrangle three, wet screaming children who were basically learning not to drown every day to swim lessons without wanting to kill myself and/or my children in the process? Unless a free, full-time nanny appeared on my porch, this just did not seem like an option for us. While I knew they would be great for the kids, it just wasn't going to work.

Then, on Mother's Day weekend, Sophie fell in the pool. With three adults outside who had just turned their backs for a second. In those few seconds before Kyle was able to get to her, she swallowed a lot of water. While I was not there to witness it, Kyle was beyond shaken up after it happened. After giving it some serious thought, it was decided that between my sister and I's 5 small children, we couldn't risk something like that happening again, perhaps with a far worse ending.

Enter, ISR.

When I say the girls hated it for the first 4-5 weeks, that is an understatement. Tiffany (our amazing instructor that I adored), basically drops them in the water and they have to figure out how to dog paddle/swim for their lives to the side of the pool, gradually increasing the distance day after day. The girls swallowed water, threw up, screamed, you get the idea. Afterwards they would cling to me for dear life, and we would do it all over again the next day, all while listening to them scream from the backseat "I dooooon't waaaannnnnnaaaaaa goooooo to swwwwiiiimmmm lesssssoooooons!!! Pleeeeeaaaaaaasse Mommy, noooooooo swim lesssssooooooonnsss!!"

During which time I would be counting down the minutes until I could get home and pour myself a glass of wine and/or start dealing drugs on the side so I could pay some poor person to take my swim-hating mongrels to these God forsaken lessons every day. It got old. Real quick.

But as the weeks went by and the girls were literally learning how to swim on their own right before my eyes, then gradually float on their backs, then go from swimming to floating better than I probably could right now, I finally started to feel like doing these was the right decision. Not only were they learning a life-saving skill, my once ambivalent swimmers now ADORED being in the water, swimming, jumping off the side/diving board, and were off the charts confident in the water. And watching them beam after swimming half way across the pool was the icing on the cake. They were so proud of themselves, and so was I.

Below are some videos from our first week doing the lessons, and our last week. I wish I would have video'd more throughout the process, but like I said, I was barely surviving them and my phone has a horrible amount of storage space, making my video-ing near impossible.

Sophie, week one. (please ignore my annoying mom cheerleading in both videos)

Campbell, week one.

This was Sophie a few days before she finished. 

Since sharing a few videos on facebook of the girls, I now have 5-6 friends enrolling their kids in the lessons, as well. If you live in the Edmond area, and would like to know more about them, I would love to help. Here's a few more resources if you're interested.

Click HERE for the ISR website. You can also find our instructor's information on there, as well. Her name is Tiffany Rains.

Go to YouTube and search ISR. You can see lots of videos of other ISR success stories. 

Again, I'd love to answer anymore questions anyone reading this may have. It's a scary undertaking and I was so glad to have a friend to bounce questions off of before and during our lessons (thanks, Kaylan!). Leave a comment if you'd like to chat more about them!

Happy swimming. ;)


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