Initially, being short and weak was a magnanimous issue for me in childhood as a school kid. For any form of sports, like cricket, basketball, having that extra height is always an added advantage. During my school years, I was unaware of the benefits of swimming.
As a kid, I always had the fear of water and it was really tough to conquer that fear. Not only did water bodies increase my heart rate, but would make me swell up in tears, and I just refused to go to the swimming pool.
My mom would have to pull me and take me to the swimming pool three times a week, which was a dreadful activity for me as a teen.
Besides, to beat the fear of water, our coaches would regularly indulge in throwing from a certain height, with all the safety equipment that once can fathom.
But swimming brought about an all-round development in me, from physical transformation to mental well-being. For starters, it was about holding onto the rod and swimming. But gradually, I was put to the bigger pool, with a higher depth.
Before starting to swim, we would do the warm-up exercises, which would help us remain physically fit throughout the entire swimming cycle. From learning freestyle to backstroke, time evolved and made me more confident of diving into the vast swimming pool. While the breadth of the swimming pool was easy to swim, the aim was to swim the entire length of it.
But as I continued this activity for more than 3 years, the changes started to come out day by day. Gradually, I learnt to control, my breath under water and could swim for a longer period of time. Remaining under water also taught me self confidence that I could remain safe in any of the water bodies.
Another advantage was the height factor. From being a short person, I gained height, which not only helped me in other sports like cricket and basketball, but also in cycling. I started cycling to school often with ease, as I had the physical capability to do so.
As a kid, we consume more food and swimming helped burn all the calories that I consumed. Without physical activity and excess of food, our body becomes more stiff and unhealthy. It made my heart and lungs a lot more capable and stronger. Running became an easier task for me, and my sports coach in the school was surprised to see the transformation. With obesity among kids on the rise these days, starting to swim can help to beat it.
Another extremely added advantage was it improved my sleep exponentially. In a day and age where kids and distracted by television and phone screens, which play havoc with the sleep cycles, swimming can help improve this exponentially. It gave sound sleep and helped me focus in the classes at school.
A major aspect was it helped me beat the exam stress! With a swimming cap, goggles and a board, we would go to the pool despite the fear of water. When I could fight and get over the stress of swimming deep under water, my command over writing answers in an exam hall improved tremendously.
The day when I built up on my physical strength, I could swim the entire length of the pool, which made me lot more confident as a person. It helped me get over the fear of water and jumping from heights into the pool became a much awaited activity! Also when you take your kids on holidays to the beaches, there is no fear when you go the beach side, if your kid knows swimming.
Rather than spending time on Netflix and other OTT platforms, I recommend all parents to send their kids for a swim, which will not only make them taller, but stronger physically and mentally, helping them face and solve the innumerable challenges and difficulties of life.