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  • By:
    Laura Dion-Jones
    Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t should do it anyway.”
    Laura Dion-Jones
    Health Activist, CCWC, CWC, PhD in Obesity, Motivational Weight Loss
    Speaker, Author, Writer,
    Show Host
    Now that
    summer’s right around the corner and Speedo-worthiness weather is
    soon upon us, one of the smartest things you can do besides knocking
    off some of that excess weight you’ve been lugging around for a
    while is to make sure your kid, kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews,
    neighbors and you know how to swim as soon as they are able to
    walk, if not sooner.
    I was fortunate
    to be born in Coral Gables, the Florida coastal community just below
    South Beach, and lived with my grandparents who had an in-ground pool
    in their yard. I have a picture of me taken when I was about 9 months
    old splashing around in the water near the pool’s edge totally
    unattended – as in no floaties, no inner-tube, no noodle and no mom
    holding me up. I’m sure she was mere inches from the picture’s
    edge, but the point is, my mom and Grandparents made sure that with
    all the water surrounding us, I was totally comfortable in it and
    could float and swim before I could barely walk. Consequently, I’ve
    been like a Mermaid, more comfortable in water than on land, ever
    As the years go
    by, it amazes me how many people I meet, adults, youngsters and
    everyone in between, who cannot swim – and worst of all – some are
    deathly afraid of the water to the point of petrification. This is
    not a good thing. The water truly is your friend and there’s
    nothing, nothing, nothing to be afraid of. You just have to know how
    to handle yourself in and around her.


    I always try to
    help these aqua-phobes become a bit more comfortable with our liquid
    environment when we’re in any water, boating or swimming situation.
    It’s far more dangerous being that terrified of the water than
    learning to respect it and your own limits within it.
    Not too long
    ago, I had the pleasant experience of talking to a popular, African
    American Reverend when he and I were standing in line next to each
    other in our health club’s grille.
    He had just been
    in the news days before at an opening of some Westside kids club and
    he, along with another official, took an inaugural plunge into the
    brand spanking new pool – in the deep end, of course.
    It was apparent
    to me that none of the other officials standing on the sidelines
    realized the Rev didn’t know how to swim, because by the time
    anyone else noticed, he struggled his way to the edge, thrashing and
    grabbing at the water with his fingers spread wide open.
    I instantly
    spotted his uncomfortable-ness with the situation and his inability
    to even tread water. The more frantically he paddled, the slower he
    sank. Miraculously, before drowning, he made it to the pool’s rim
    and weakly smiled, keeping a stiff upper lip.
    The former YMCA
    life guard and Junior Leader in me demurely drew the episode to the
    Rev’s attention pointing out what he should do if he ever found
    himself shipwrecked or in a similar situation again – so he could at
    least stay afloat long enough for help to arrive without panicking or
    wearing himself out with fear, anxiety and worse.
    What was my
    advice to him? “Cup your hands and fingers together like little
    paddles,” I demonstrated. “Then trace a slow, wide figure-eight
    pattern with your cupped hands just below the surface of the water,
    almost right in front of you, but down around your waist, like, at
    eleven and two o’clock.”
    Meanwhile, you
    should also move your legs in a gentle bicycle motion to keep your
    head and shoulders above the water.
    By concentrating
    on the movement of your feet and hands and counting slowly from one
    to four, over and over again, it will help you to relax and take your
    mind off the sheer terror of the thing. Pretty soon, each component
    will coordinate with the other and hopefully by then, someone will
    see you and come to your rescue.
    When I teased
    the Rev that he looked like he was going down for the count as he
    jerkily tried to make it for the pool’s edge, he laughed and said,
    “You know, I ain’t built for no swimmin’.”
    “You may be
    right, but just in case you ever find yourself in another
    over-your-head situation, I sure hope my swimming words of wisdom
    snap back to you. At least you won’t look like you’re drowning.
    And just because
    you’re a man of God, don’t wait for Him to sail down from the
    Heavens to save you. With all due respect, Rev, you’ll be waiting a
    long, long time.”
    Those who can –
    do. Those who cannot swim should learn to do so anyway. Your life
    depends on it.
    # # #
    For more
    information on Commit To Get Fit With Laura Dion-Jones, and to
    watch her Monday night TV shows live and listen to Laura’s Tuesday
    evening BlogTalk Radio Shows live . . .
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    Dion-Jones is a Pro-Health Activist, Certified Corporate
    Wellness Coach, Certified Wellness Coach, TV & Radio Show Host,
    motivational & lifestyle writer & speaker.
    Laura’s highly successful Commit To Get Fit/Elgin’s Biggest Loser
    motivational weight loss and wellness program, Laura helped motivate
    over 182 Elgin area residents to lose 1800 pounds in a little over 18
    Here’s hoping you’ll be next.
    is available for speaking engagements, individual coaching, and
    corporate wellness programs.
    for further details.
    New Blog: www.commit-fit.blogspot.com
    don’t forget the pups: Snob Hounds Canine Couture: www.snobhounds.com
    with any new diet and fitness plan, be sure to check with your
    physician before you begin.