Ashley, July 2022

Dear John:
“I’m truly amazed at how much I accomplished in four sessions; you’re the best!
I have feared water and drowning since I was young. It all started in elementary school when I was enrolled in swimming lessons at the YMCA. It was chaos, to say the least, and not surprisingly, I failed at learning how to swim. I also developed a fear of drowning after I experienced one too many “near drowning” experiences. That is when my contentious relationship with bodies of water began. After that, the water and I were officially sworn enemies.
Over the years, I became so embarrassed that I could not swim that I avoided water activities altogether. Finally, in my twenties, I became sick of people saying, “Oh my gosh! You can’t swim!” So I tried group swimming classes. However, I never completed the course because I could not overcome my phobia of holding my breath underwater. The instructors were not equipped to help me with my fear, so I quit.
I am not a quitter, so for years, I have felt determined to learn to swim. Luckily, at 37 years old, I found John, and I can now say that I know how to swim and have overcome my fears. Most notably, John taught me how to manage when fears and panic creep in, giving me practical strategies to use when I start practicing independently.
John is a masterful instructor. In addition to being a great counselor who helped me overcome my fear, he helped me develop competencies that will allow me to start swimming for exercise. The water safety skills I learned may even help save my life one day. John’s knowledge is unmatched. Other instructors never mentioned simple principles about buoyancy or what NOT to do when you feel like you may be drowning. I will always hear John’s voice.: “Head down, touch the sky, legs relaxed like rope, you’re unsinkable!” So many golden nuggets that I have now that will keep me confident and safe in the water.
Thank you, John, for your instruction and for sharing your knowledge. Now I can finally look forward to enjoying the freedom of being in the water. The water is now my friend!”
Thank you John! I hope you continue to enjoy your retirement.
Wishing you all the best,

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