“In America about 36 percent of the population cannot swim, half of adults say they’ve had an experience where they nearly drowned in their lifetime, and one in four know someone who has drowned, according to an American Red Cross survey.
Queen Anne’s County Parks and Recreation swimming instructor Linda Doub understands the fears of adults who cannot swim and she knows exactly how to help them. “I never push,” she says emphatically. From the heated pool in her backyard near Carmichael Road, Doub works with her adult students at their individual comfort level.
In her 44 years of teaching, Doub has learned what is the minds of many adults who cannot swim. “Usually they say they’ve always wanted to learn to swim and in the next breath they say, but I’ve always been afraid. I doubt if anyone will be able to teach me.”
“Whatever level you are, we will work with you at that level. For people who never go into the water because of their fear of drowning, fine, we will teach them how to drown proof themselves. They never have to leave the shallow end of the pool and I never leave their side. For those with minimal skills who have always wanted to learn strokes, we can teach those as well.”
Doub is a well known swimming instructor in Queen Anne’s County who began teaching in 1965 after watching her son’s swimming instructor toss him into the pool where he promptly sank. “I knew there had to be a better way and decided to become a Red Cross Swim Instructor,” she said. She has taught hundreds of children and many adults to swim during her career and continues to teach children’s classes this summer for Queen Anne’s County Parks and Recreation. She said many parents and grandparents who cannot swim recognize the importance of providing swimming lessons for children, although they often do not take the time to provide the same opportunity for themselves.
A case in point is Queen Anne’s County’s Recreation Manager, Joan Brooks. Joan understands the fears of adults who have never learned to swim, as she herself has never learned. “I want to learn because it’s a good way to exercise and to stay healthy. Also, living here on the shore, I think it is essential for people to learn how to swim.”
Brooks said she never had an opportunity to learn to swim because there were no swimming pools available to her when she was growing up. She admits to being nervous, but said she is determined to conquer her fear and trusts Linda Doub to teach her the “”drown proofing”” essentials needed to save herself. Once her confidence has increased and she is comfortable in the water, her future plans are to learn to enjoy swimming and use it as a form of exercise.
Doub’s Adult Swimming Lessons are offered at 7 p.m., a time convenient to most working adults. Two sessions are offered this summer. Each two-week session costs $60 and runs from Monday through Thursday. Friday is the make up day for inclement weather. The first adult session begins June 22, at 7 p.m. and the second adult session begins July 20, at the same time. For questions or to register for Fear Free Adult Swimming Lessons, please call Carrie, at Queen Anne’s County Parks and Recreation at 410-758-0835 ext. 2517.