For the last couple of years I have wanted to enroll the kids in swimming lessons, so when the opportunity arose with Bear Paddle, I was SO excited! Our kids have been 'swimming' in water practically since they were born. Pierson's first swim was just a couple weeks after his birth, Fourth of July weekend in 2012. And Reese's was in my parent's pool, when she too was teeny tiny! Neither have had a fear of water, ever, and we've always called them Little Fishes. I had swimming lessons as a young child, and they taught me so much, as well as instilled a passion for the sport. I wanted the same for our Pierson and Reese, so I'm super pumped to tell y'all about the new facility that has opened in Louisville.
You can read more on their website, but Bear Paddle has a 90-degree saltwater pool and it is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! They also have a pool sanitation system, so kids experience clean AND warm water at all times! Our kids were mesmerized as soon as we walked in. The bright colors, friendly staff, and the very large POOL, obviously!
Pierson from the get-go, was 100% on board. He is eager to learn and is in a sweet spot currently of trying his best at pretty much everything. He turned five in June, and in the last year, he decided he didn't need a swim vest anymore to swim. Needless to say, he hasn't looked back since; give him a pair of goggles, put him in some water, and this boy is ready to GO. His little sister Reese on the other hand, well, there were some ups and downs we had to work through, but the swim lessons were such a great learning experience. She was a little nervous at the size pool (her grandparents in Michigan have a round lap pool, so, quite the difference in that regard!) She wasn't 100% sure what to think of it all the first lesson, but this is a great time to rant and rave about the quality of instructors Bear Paddle has. All of them were SO patient with Reese. They didn't force her in the pool, they not once showed an ounce of frustration with her hesitation, and they were so calm and confident.
While Pierson was clearly all smiles, Reese requested that I sit RIGHT next to her on the side of the pool. She even went as far to ask the teacher if I could put my feet in. As I said, the instructors were always so kind and incredibly understanding of Reese's apparent anxiety. She began to warm up, and slowly but surely, she dove in with no fear at all, just as she's done at her grandparents within the last several months. She too, learned that she didn't really need a life vest anymore, and the instructors were very proud of her when she decided to show them that she COULD do this!
The first three or four lessons it typically took Reese five minutes of warming up to the idea of swimming without me being IN the water, but by golly, she always did it. There was a couple of lessons that I doubted wholeheartedly whether or not she would get IN and complete the lesson, but she never ceased to amaze me. For me personally, it showed me how quick I am TO doubt, and it taught me to have more patience and trust in the professionals who are there to help children succeed!
Pierson just loved every single moment, the second that he arrived, at each and every lesson. It didn't matter who the instructor was, how many kids were in the group, where I was sitting or standing; he just SWAM.
I am so glad my husband recorded some videos of them swimming here. I feel like I'll blink and they'll be teenagers, the days of swim lessons far behind them--but seriously, I have held tight to the last month, and watching them be kids in the water. Before Bear Paddle, Pierson was hesitant to learn how to float on his back, and by the end of it, he had zero hesitations.
We were going to do two full months with the facility and bring our kids weekly for lessons, however, if you've followed along with us this summer, you know how insanely busy our life has been. Pierson began kindergarten, Reese preschool, we moved to a brand new house, and we have found ourselves doing SO much driving to and from places that we knew we just needed to wait. They were able to do five weeks of lessons though, and honestly, they learned so much in that amount of time. I'm 99% sure we'll be going back next summer, when life can slow down again and the kids don't have as many obligations in their daily routines.
I can't say enough about the facility, the cleanliness, the support of the staff, and how happy my kids were after swim lessons at Bear Paddle. Once Reese got in, she always had a difficult time getting OUT--she could have swam for hours! We were blessed by this opportunity and I hope you'll check it out too. They offer SO many lessons, even in the evenings and weekends. And if you aren't local to Louisville, you'll be happy to know that this isn't their only location! Check out their many branches by clicking here.
Thank you, Bear Paddle, for letting us swim with you! It was an honor to meet your staff and to watch our kids branch out and learn so much about themselves.