Judy’s Mailbox

Boulder, Longmont & Lafayette Swim Instructor

Dear Judy,

I have always been too nervous to take my daughters (ages 3 and 2) to the pool by myself because they are both so close in age and could not swim. But since they had both just completed the 6 week program at SWIM•Float•SWIM!℠, I thought I could manage. So off we went to the pool. Everything was going great. The girls were listening wonderfully. They wanted to go down the slide. I had one child sit on the side of the pool while I waited at the bottom for the other child to come down the slide. This system worked great. They had gone down the slide at least 8 times during our visit.

Then, my 2 year old told me she wanted to go down the slide again. I had my 3 year old sit on the side of the pool while her sister went up the slide. I went to the bottom to catch her as I had every other time. Well, at the bottom of the slide you can’t see the steps up to the slide. You can walk behind the slide to the other side of the pool which you can’t see from the bottom of the slide either. I waited at the bottom of the slide for Emily, but she never came down. After a minute I started to worry so I moved to where I could see the bottom of the steps, but she wasn’t there. I quickly backed my 3 year old away from the pool and told her not to move while I looked for her sister. I jumped back into the pool and started searching for Emily. I was in a panic but kept very calm. My eyes scanned the surface of the water and then I saw her on the other end of the pool FLOATING on her back!

You see instead of going up the slide like she told me she was going to do, she went behind the slide and jumped into the pool. Luckily she had been trained at SWIM•Float•SWIM!℠ and must have turned right to her back, because she was floating calmly waiting for me to come get her. I quickly rushed over and picked her up, praising her for doing such a great job floating. Later we talked about not jumping in a pool without Mommy, but for the moment all I did was remind her what a wonderful floater she was.

I am forever grateful to SWIM•Float•SWIM!℠. I’m convinced that the skills she learned during her lessons truly saved her life that day.

Siobahn Webster, Erie

Dear Judy,

I just wanted to let you know how our trip to Florida went this past December. We were offered a place to stay on our friend’s 60 foot boat. Under normal circumstances I would have said no, because of the constant danger of the water being everywhere. Our children (Anabella 4) and (Secorra nearly 2) both started Infant Aquatics lessons before they were a year old. Their back floating ability gave me the confidence that if for some reason they got out of our sight, they would have the skills necessary to help save their life. This allowed me to say yes to the boat trip. We had a wonderful and safe vacation! Anabella was also able to snorkel every morning with one of us. It is important for her to experience life under the water, as her father does ocean conservation and underwater video for a career! Thanks for all the skills and safety you and your staff teach my girls every week!

Danielle Heinrichs

Hey Judy,

I would like to compliment Cynthia, Carlene and the young man who does strokes. They did a fantastic job keeping everything together and keeping it all going while you were away. They had multiple classes going with tons of parents, new kids and new classes and they did a great job. They were always so happy and helpful and they worked together so well. It was really a testament to your staff, and I thought you should know. I have managed for years and I know how important it is to feel that things are going well while you are away. It must feel so good to have such wonderful people working for you and keeping things tip top while you are out. I was there quite a bit, with Jackson doing his training with Carlene and going into Aquababies, and Sami starting a whole new class and graduating into Fundays with Cynthia. GREAT job guys! Thank you!!

Amanda Sessa

Hi Judy,

I just wanted to let you know how invaluable your classes were to my 16 month old Mason while we were on a family holiday in Vermont in early October. I originally chose to have Mason start classes at the age of 9 months because our home there is on a lake. But I never would have guessed that he would have put his lessons to the test on a kiddie ride at a local fair.

We took an outing with several families to Bromley’s Alpine Slide and Fair. At the fair, there was a bumper boat ride for children under the age of 6. Mason was all excited to get on one of the boats. I thought to myself, there is no way I would put Mason in there had he not known how to float and swim. But I figured, in the very rare instance that he did fall out, he would know what to do. He was thoroughly enjoying himself — so much so, that I paid for him to ride 2x more. Well, on that third go, he decided he was done and was ready to get off. He stood up in the boat and the rest is a blur — it all happened so fast. I still don’t know if he jumped or lost his balance. Nonetheless, fully clothed in a polo shirt, jeans, diaper and little boots, in he went. Interestingly, my first thought was not that he would drown, but that he might hit his head on the bottom of the pool, which was only about 2 feet deep! But unscathed, he surfaced, gave a kick or two and flipped on his back. He did it so quickly that I and the girls operating the ride didn’t have time to jump in to “save him.” But he was very quickly scooped up out of the water by the ride operator closest to him, who handed him to me in a towel, assuring me this had never happened before. My soaking wet raga-muffin just looked at me in a daze. I was a little concerned that he was shocked by the cold water. But when he turned back toward the ride and made the sign for “more” I laughed out loud, while the ride operators and every spectator were totally stupefied by what they had just seen. Thanks for all your work.

Renee Israel

Dear Judy,

We live in Lafayette and our property is quite large, beautifully landscaped with a gorgeous water feature the kids love to splash around in during the summer. The pond, surrounded by rocks, drops to a depth of 4.5 feet.

May 18th 2007 – a warm sunny day. I was home with my two young daughters doing yard work. Saxon, my 16 month old, had just completed her 5th week of lessons with Cynthia, but had yet to practice swimming in clothes. She and Stori, my 4 year old, were playing on a large trampoline located next to the pond, while I was gardening. My back was turned pulling weeds in an adjacent garden when I heard Stori call for me. She said “mommy, mommy, Saxon needs you” I turned around to see Stori, standing by the water, but Saxon was nowhere in sight. My mouth went dry, and my heart sank as I envisioned Saxon facedown at the bottom of the pond. I remember running about eight “Incredible Hulk” steps with no feeling in my legs. The pond came into view, and there was Saxon, not submerged on the bottom, but floating on her back on the surface of the water She was wearing overalls with a long sleeve shirt underneath. Her breathing was very relaxed, considering the water temperature was 58 degrees. I felt calm as I made my way to where she was floating. I was so relieved; I cheered her, as I laid down at the edge of the water. I continued

to tell her what a great swimmer she was as I gently placed my hands under her head, re-enforcing her confidence in the floating technique she had been learning during her swim lessons. I was surprisingly very composed, and helped her float over to the side and then encouraged her to flip over and grab the edge, where I grasped her little hands and pulled her wet body out. During the entire episode, she never cried, never even made a peep. I let her run around the sunny yard in her wet clothes and diaper for a few minutes while I regained the strength in my legs to actually take her inside to get fresh clothes and digest what had just happened. According to Stori, “Saxon fell in the water face first and rolled over to float.” It was pretty amazing!

Water safety has always been one of my greatest priorities, and all three of my kids have taken lessons at Infant Aquatics in Boulder I have always felt that educating children to be safe and respectful around water is paramount, because you never know when something like this might happen. Thank you over and over and over again Infant Aquatic Survival Team!

Carey Pardee

Hi Judy,

I just wanted to recount a story that happened to my 2 year old, Andre, who is currently in your “Wacky Wednesday” class and why I am so very satisfied and grateful for Infant Aquatics. The other day we had the kids at my mom’s house for a barbeque and were watching my 5 year old, Ian, swim before dinner. Andre was wearing his brother’s (oversized-to the knees) t-shirt and some shorts. While all the adults were talking, Andre went around the spa ledge which abuts the pool and all we heard was the splash! My aunt jumped up, ready to dive in the pool, but Andre bobbed up, “star-fished” on his back, grabbed his breath, then rolled over and swam to the stairs! I cannot thank you enough for all that you and your instructors do. My boys’ water skills have truly made both of them safer in the water – and made me comfortable with them around the water.

 

Nicole Pratt

Dear Judy,

The week before school started I took my daughter Logan and her friend to Gateway Park to play putt putt. My three year old son Griffin came along, outfitted for the occasion in his Spiderman tennis shoes, shorts and polo shirt. My focus was on the girls, and I never knew that Griffin was trying to retrieve his ball from the big pond with the pink elephant that squirts water out of its trunk.

Suddenly I turned and spotted the top of Griffin’s head in the brown pond. The rest of him was totally submerged. I stood frozen for an instant as he popped up, rolled onto his back, then calmly flipped onto his tummy and climbed out of the pond. I ran over to him asking “Griffin, are you all right?” He grinned, gave me “the look” and nonchalantly replied, “Oh mom, Coach Judy taught me to always get on my back whenever I need air.”

So that’s my success story for Infant Aquatics for Griffin, putting his swimming to the test at Gateway Park!

Laura Tidstrom

I just wanted to let you know that our swimming has been going great this summer. Taylor has been practicing the stroke technique she learned with you in June. She is working hard on not lifting her head when she takes a breath and she continues to breathe every third stroke. Prior to her lessons with you, she refused to participate in camps and activities which involved swimming, but now she jumps right in! Her skills and confidence have enabled her to really have fun in the pool. I feel secure knowing that she can participate in these group swims and have fun but also be safe.

Maddy was more reluctant to practice her SWIM•Float•SWIM! skills, so I made her
get out of the pool and explained that she couldn’t go back in until she showed me that she could still float to rest and breathe and swim to the wall. It took about a half an hour of her watching her sister practice and jump in and dive for rings before she decided to practice with me. Now she does her skills on her own whenever we swim. Her favorite thing is snorkeling. She gets her gear on and we snorkel up and down the lanes and across the pool non-stop! You can actually hear her giggling through her snorkel!

When we started with you eighteen months ago, I knew the importance of water
safety and survival skills, but I had no idea back then how much swimming and water sports were going to be a part of our lives. We vacation every year in Hawaii where the kids are either in the pool, at the beach or on a boat whale-watching. We now co-own a power boat with the Hulets and have been to their lake as well as Lake Powell this summer. It is amazing to see my kids swimming and playing in the lake and tubing behind the boat with Nicole. Remember their first week with you? It is hard to believe they are the same kids. It also works well that the 5 kids (ours and the Hulets) all learned their skills through you. Ann and I get all of them in the water–Nicole and Taylor work on their stroke while Maddy, Sarah and Ashley are doing SWIM•Float•SWIM!

It is pretty awesome to watch. I’m sending you a picture of the five of them at the pool, posing in their Infant Aquatic Survival t-shirts.

I plan on keeping the kids swimming this fall, and we will see you in the spring
for a refresher. Thanks so much.

Marcia Schopbach

Judy,

Art and I were always impressed with the skillls Alex and Adam demonstrated while taking lessons with you. But our confidence and belief in your program was boosted even more when Adam (22 months) utilized his skills while we were on vacation. After falling face first into the baby pool, Adam began to swim and then rolled onto his back for air. He didn’t get flustered or panic but very methodically carried out his skills just as he had done while in lessons. We are believers in the IAS program because it really works!

Cheri and Art Cabrera, M.D.

Hi Judy!

I just wanted to let you know that we took the kids to the pool this weekend. I was delighted with their confidence and skill! Nico was not afraid of the water at all, and swam to the wall using “big arms”. He was proud to show off his skill to the other four year olds. What really amazed me though, was two year old Tony’s eagerness to practice his skills. When we got in the pool he asked to “swim to the wall”, and practiced many times over the course of the day. He also decided to jump into water over his head, which made me nervous, but I decided it was the perfect opportunity to see what would happen in an unexpected situation. I didn’t catch him. He came up, went right into a backfloat, and then turned around and swam back to the wall! I was so pleased!!! We will have fun practicing these skills regularly! Thank you so much!!!!!

Heidi Fuela

Dear Judy,

Matt and I were so excited to see the article in the Daily Camera’s Fit section regarding the dispute over when and how children should begin learning to swim and the issue of water safety. We were happy to note that you were interviewed and observed teaching and are in total agreement with the comments made by educated parents concerning the importance of teaching infants and toddlers to survive in the water.

It is very distressing to think that people in the medical field of pediatrics are making decisions that are not based on any studies or statistics related to infants and swimming; particularly when they admit that drowning is one of the number one ways children die!

Judy, we are so thankful to you for giving Emma, now two and a half, and Noah, 17 months, the ability to survive in the water. Knowing that your long term goal in teaching children at such an early age is for them to ultimately become stong swimmers; the short term result of them being “water aware” and able to float and swim to a nearby wall or edge is an invaluable possession for us. We realize this does not make it safe for them to wander around pools and lakes without supervision, but we all know that sometimes even supervision is not enough, and in that one instant of distraction, they could be in the pool or lake and may be gone forever.

Although it was sometimes difficult to watch our babies during their initial learning experience, it has turned out that they really enjoy the water. At the pool, people are amazed at the skill of our two year old in comparison to other children of all ages. We look look with Emma and Noah this summer, and also to their continued lessons with you. Thanks again; we highly recommend you and your Infant Aquatic Survival lessons for infants and children.

Matthew Holland M.D. & Mary Beth Holland R.N.

Judy,

Hi! I thought you might enjoy an update on Jasey, whom you taught last September. We have been taking Jasey weekly to the Lafayette Rec Center and practicing her skills in the lazy river during toddler time. She goes around and around the pool – swim, float, swim. She’s got a great starfish float that she’ll do for more than one verse of Twinkle, Twinkle and she has started using her arms in a breast stroke fashion.

Attached is a photo of Jasey (2 years) swimming in my father’s Endless Pool in Iowa where we spent 4 weeks with Jasey swimming every day. By the end she could swim the length on one breath. It’s great to see how proud she is to show her skills to her older cousins who won’t put their heads underwater.

Thanks for teaching Jasey!

Kiki Chanders

Judy,

This afternoon, Hayden and I were at East Boulder Rec Center while my older daughter, Ellie had swim practice. Hayden was excited to watch his friend going down the slide. I was a little nervous as Hayden tends to run and jump around when he’s excited (even though he’s been told repeatedly to walk when near the pool) so I was standing right next to him. I thought if I was there, I could prevent an accident. I couldn’t.

Hayden leaned over the pool and in an instant, lost his balance and fell in the pool by the slide. The water in that area moves pretty quickly, and for a second, I couldn’t see him as he slipped, fully clothed, under the water. I fought like hell to resist the instinct to jump in and pull him out, for I could not reach him from the edge…instead, I got to my knees and began screaming, “DO YOUR BACK FLOAT!”

He DID do his float…his little face emerged from the water, looking very scared. The lifeguard jumped in at that instant and grabbed him…but he was already on his back and breathing fine. In reality, my yelling to him did nothing. But, I had faith in him and in what he was taught and I wanted him to know that too. What worked was what he was taught and what he practiced in your program – over and over again – with heavy clothing and shoes and even his snow boots on.

When the lifeguard grabbed him I said, “He’s fine, he’s fine.” She responded, “I can see that!”

Nothing can replace a parent’s vigilance around the water but sometimes the unexpected happens anyway.

Every time I see those other kids’ swim programs and kids with those darned ‘floaties’ on their arms, I want to scream and tell them they are only giving their child a false sense of security around the water – which is perhaps even more dangerous – and to tell them about your program.

Your training works. I hope never to have to test it again, however!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Erika Briechle Arens

Dear Judy,

We have seen such a transformation in Alex’s confidence and motor skills since beginning swim lessons with you. When we began swim lessons Alex was 20 months. I enrolled him with the intention of getting him comfortable with water since he seemed quite afraid and timid when we were around pools. Now, he’s almost three years old and swimming is truly his favorite activity. The fact that he also has water survival skills has put everyone at ease when we’re all in the water.

kaufman

I didn’t know what to expect during the six weeks of private training lessons, but it was literally like a light switch going on when I saw how excited Alex became around water and pools. We just spent 10 days in Mexico and he was swimming from morning until evening, exploring the water independently and with total enthusiasm. What a gift it was to have enrolled him in your classes.

Aside from the joy of swimming and the changes I’ve noticed with his ability to jump, dive, climb in and out of a pool by himself, I’ve also seen the value of the survival skills taught by Infant Aquatics.

While swimming at a hotel pool last summer, Alex slipped on the edge and fell in. A man sitting nearby jumped out of his lounge chair to go in and save Alex. By the time he got into the water, Alex had made his way to the top and was floating on his back. I was so proud of him for knowing what to do and the man was so impressed that a two year old knew how to help himself in the water.

We are so grateful to you and your method of teaching. I really trusted your process, and Alex is a great swimmer because of it. I didn’t believe that he could go from trepidation and holding on to me tightly whenever we went swimming to a boy who now jumps into the water with total exuberance.

We now have a three month old daughter, and I look forward to enrolling her in your lessons.

Karen Kaufman, MD

Dear Judy,

JudeJoyJulie

As you know we live in Austin, Texas and there is nothing like your program here. There are pools everywhere and all the kids either wear water wings or doggy paddle. My husband and I decided to come to Colorado to combine a vacation with real swim lessons for our kids. Since we only had a two week time frame, you were able to accommodate us by doubling up the lessons, early in the morning and later in the afternoon. That gave us time for excursions and short fieldtrips to fun places for our kids in the middle of each day. The whole experience could not have worked out better.

Our journey from Texas to Colorado was a life changing experience for my children. I still cannot believe the drastic transformation, not only in their swimming abilities, but also in their attitudes and self-esteem after their two-week swimming “crash course.” Jude (3 years) went from uncontrollable crying on day one to full-on excitement about getting in the pool by day three. In less than two weeks, the tears came when we told him he had to get out of the water!

Julie did an incredible job of teaching Jude and reassuring him with her warm smile and calm energy. He absolutely loved her and couldn’t wait to see her every day. Julie was able to quickly establish a trusting relationship with him so that with each new challenge (swimming in clothes, for instance) he would listen to her and know that if he followed her instructions, he could do it. This made him so proud, particularly after receiving her praise. The lessons have greatly increased both his swimming ability and his confidence.

It’s amazing what Julie taught Joy (18 months). By the end of the two weeks, my formerly helpless baby knew how to swim, roll onto her back when she needed air and then flip onto her tummy to be picked up. Even though Joy is in a “stranger-danger” period, she too warmed to Julie quickly, and trusted her. You could see how proud she was of herself every time she was in the water. I also think that learning to swim-float-swim has given her more independence out of the water.

We’re so grateful for you and your staff for giving us such a wonderful experience, and our kids such valuable skills!

Jennifer Seay – Austin, Texas

Dear Judy,

The skills that Sam learned at Swim-Float-Swim are indispensable for little ones, and it amazes me that every child who completes the program, is able to achieve so much proficiency in such a short amount of time, with your help and your amazing team of instructors. I enrolled Sam at 8 months and although it was tough to watch at first, I was astonished that no matter how upset he seemed at the beginning of the lesson, he calmed down and was a happy little baby after almost every lesson. He was an accomplished little floater at 9 months, and learned to swim-float-swim as soon as he could walk.

When Sam completed his private lessons as a toddler, we continued with once a week Aquababies group class, and he maintained his level of proficiency – rolling on his back when he needed to breathe and swimming to people and/or the wall when he could. We took about a year off when I got pregnant with my second and after about 9 months away from swim class, I could see that Sam needed to return to lessons, because he became increasingly afraid when we would go to the pool. When we re-enrolled (at 2.5 years-old), he picked up his skills so fast — he was amazing people at our club pool after only 2 weeks of lessons with Carlene (love her!). He now loves swimming, is so much safer in or by the water and we have a lot more fun as a family when we all go to the pool together.

I couldn’t be happier with the skills Sam has learned at Swim-Float-Swim. I wanted to share my experience with other parents so that they are aware that this is not a one-time thing – to maintain a skill like swimming, you need to constantly reinforce it – just like anything important at this age. It is definitely a commitment at the beginning, but after your child completes the initial one-on-one course, the once-a-week or twice-a-week classes are just as easy (for mom and/or dad), cost about the same and yield amazingly superior results than a specialized swim class anywhere else. If you are serious about giving your child the gift of swimming and yourself peace of mind, there is no better place to achieve both than Swim-Float-Swim!

Cindy Sepucha – Boulder

Dear Judy,

My son, Thomas (aka Jonesy), now 3 1/2, has always liked the water. He would jump in unabashedly, knowing that I was there to coddle him, catch him and lift him up when he started to go under. Yet he refused to learn how to swim with me or any other previous coaches. Even his sisters had rescued him from hot tubs he’d fallen into as recently as this past March when I turned away for just a moment. Our 3-week family vacation in Canada, where we would be constantly near water, loomed just 6 weeks away. I knew that I could not risk my little boy’s safety any longer. He has always been stubborn, so I needed someone who could give him some ‘tough love’. Luckily, I found our ‘dream team’ by a coincidental flyer in our mailbox. We met Judy and Carlene 6 weeks ago. They kindly squeezed me in, and we started our first week of private lessons with Infant Aquatics.

I was totally motivated, unlike Jonesy. He seemed to hate the water. Though really, it wasn’t the water he hated, it was the fact that he was no longer allowed to do whatever he wanted to do inside the water. Every lesson was a battle. He would scream and cry, yet he was putting his face in the water and learning to kick and ‘get the wall’. The second week he did not even want to get into the car as he had figured out our swimming schedule. Several times I needed help getting him into the pool area from the parking lot! We still did our lessons. He refused to float on his back, a key element of what he needed to learn – that’s when Judy literally stepped in. She is so committed to each child ‘getting it’. Jonesy finally learned to swim, breathe, and to relax and rest on his back.

At the end of the third week there was no more crying, no more hysterics. After every lesson he would happily exclaim, ‘I’m a GOOD swimmer!’ His confidence was building and his self esteem was incredible. Not only did his swimming improve, but he started talking more clearly; he was more social; he started reading; he even tried some potty training. He was feeling very ‘accomplished’ is how I can explain it. I am amazed that in less than six weeks he is feeling safe in the water which makes me realize how many hours, years and dollars I have really wasted on previous swim lessons for all three of my children.

Jonesy-Collage

This week is Jonesy’s last week. He is diving underwater and bringing up rings and floating on his back like an otter. He can swim fully clothed with shoes, he can recover himself onto his back and swim to the side of the pool or steps when pushed backwards underwater or when he slides off a raft into the deep. Basically, he is a really good swimmer, just like he says. I am breathing a heavy sigh of relief that we can go on vacation fully prepared. And Jonesy and my two elder daughters, who have watched him swim these past couple of weeks, are looking forward to coming back and swimming with your staff when we return from holiday. Thank you so much to the wonderful team at Infant Aquatics! Much love,

Jo Drummond

Dear Judy,

Archibold1

I thought that it would never be possible for me to feel comfortable having so many children around water. When my older kids were younger, going to the pool was a real challenge. Having more than one young child in the pool at once was stressful to say the least. Always having to hold one, we never really got to play and enjoy ourselves.

In contrast, after learning to swim-float-swim even having two toddlers in the pool is fun now. I know that they are safe and having a great time. They jump in and play. They feel safe and comfortable in the water so much so that I can relax and let them play. I don’t feel like I need to be holding them so a whole new realm of fun is open to us. They actually get to explore the water and all it’s properties.

They know their limits in the water too. They can tell when they can’t stand and know when to float. They don’t accidentally go too far. They simply swim back to the steps. I truly wish, as do my older children, that I had known about you sooner. We would have spent a lot more time at the pool. I will admit that during the individual lessons, my busy schedule felt crunched even more. But before I knew it, my little ones had graduated into group lessons and everyday in the water was fantastic. It is so worth the time and money. We swim almost everyday! I do not hesitate to recommend you to everyone I know who has children.

Thanks for making my summers fun again.

Koleen Archibold

Dear Judy,

rand

What if I had been there fifteen seconds later? Thirty? What if I had been talking to one of the moms next to me and had not seen it at all? I sat shivering under a blanket of summer stars, not from the eighty degree June night, but from the what ifs that darted into my head and the physiological response that came with them – fear, adrenaline and real terror.

My precious love. My beautiful not yet three year old daughter was drowning in a kiddy pool, two feet away from two life guards on a slow day at a private health club. Fortunately, it was me, her mom, who rescued her from death with her 8 month old sister in my arms. I took many precautions that day – none of which were enough. I struggle, wanting to go into the details, trying to justify myself but at the end of the day, I realized I am, and was, utterly fallible. I learned that this very human trait in a mother can cost a life. I could have lost everything. What could have been tragic, was “only” traumatic. Luckily it was life changing and not life ending.

Haven said it best that night in a confused and scared voice, “I tried to get up mommy, but I couldn’t. The water was all around me. I couldn’t stand up.” She couldn’t stand up, or get up to the surface, and she didn’t know what to do because I had not ensured that my little girl had those skills to survive in the water. Instead, what I had done with her for over two years was sing songs, blow bubbles and play in classes that were not only a waste of time, but money as well. In that moment of regret, I also experienced relief; this is something she could learn! I had the power to give Haven the ability to save her own life and feel confident in water – anytime.

The panic in Haven’s eyes, as she flailed two feet under water, belly up, will remain with me forever. I decided that no amount of fear would come close to compare with the terror Haven and I felt on that dreadful day. It is that memory that gave me the courage and really tough love to enroll all three of my children in Infant Aquatic Survival, under your guidance and in the safe hands of your instructors.

And so, a few days after the accident, I spent three hours on deck at Infant Aquatics, watching ten minute lessons of countless children and babies alike. I recommend doing this to anyone interested in the program. What I found, and you will surely see, is a real camaraderie of parenthood. We all love and cherish our babies and that is why we stand by as our little ones struggle to learn this awesome life skill. We do not stand alone, and we are not quiet in the process. The parents encourage other parents and every child in the water with the same intensity and goodwill they have for their own. The atmosphere my children felt in the pool was even warmer than the one I experienced on deck.

The instructors are warm, loving and beautifully bonded to each child. Carlene would kiss the babies on the forehead to praise their hard work in the water while whispering encouragement and affirmations in their ear. Cynthia was fun and always giggling with the children – almost singing their next instruction. These women are moms and are there to equip each child, emotionally and physically, with grace and love. They first earn the trust of the child, and then the child learns to trust him/herself in the water.

Infant Aquatics is all about conquering the what ifs. What if your child falls into a pond with a snowsuit and boots on? What if your child is in rapid water – will she know how to float despite the current? What if your child reaches for the edge of the pool and misses and sinks deep? The instructors gently put my 8 month old, along with Haven and her 4 year old brother, into these and other possible scenarios, with a successful outcome for each child in a matter of weeks. Haven, in particular, found her inner confidence. She has learned that no matter where, or when, she can “get up” in the water.

Nonie Rand

Dear Judy,

maytubby

It has been almost eight months to the day since we started Emma in your program, and I want you to know what a success it has been. Today we were at our neighborhood pool, and while I was chatting with another mom on the pool deck, Emma fell off the step into the pool. I didn’t realize she had fallen in until I heard her scream for me to come get her. There she was floating on her back, amidst a sea of other children. The older kids were watching her and were amazed by her control and focus. They didn’t think she needed help because she didn’t sink, she didn’t panic and she didn’t swallow any water. She knew exactly what she needed to do and she did it. HURRAY!

Following a near drowning experience at the same pool last August (where two year old Emma was rescued from the bottom of the deep end), we made the commitment to your program with the objective of having all of our kids water-safe this summer. It was the best decision ever, and the results are there to prove it! Today’s experience gave me confidence (and Emma too) that she is water-safe, and it is truly a joy and relief to see her swimming and loving it. Thanks to you and Kyla and Moriah for being amazing teachers and for your continued commitment to making our kids water-safe!

If you ever have a parent who is on the fence about committing to your program, please feel free to share Emma’s story with them. I wish I had started her in Infant Aquatics when she was younger and possibly could have avoided the stress and trauma of nearly losing our two year old. She was a tough one to teach and has come a long way. I am so thankful for your program. It is the best!

Rebecca Maytubby

Dear Judy,

duncanOur family regularly vacations at a house on a lake and my fearless 2 year- old son knows that he must wear a life jacket at all times while outside. Despite my efforts to downplay the water feature and to ensure that he abide by the life jacket rule, my worst fears were nearly realized this past summer. While under the watchful eye of four adults, my son Matt managed to sneak out of the house and run down to play by the water with no life jacket.

By the grace of a much higher power, there were two women on an adjacent pier: one was able to keep an eye on him while the other came to alert us. Fortunately, we found Matt quickly and he was fine, but the story could have ended so much differently and so much more tragically, as it does for many families every summer.

Afterwards I was physically sick and couldn’t even talk about the incident. I knew I had to do better, I knew that I could not ignore what had happened, and the best defense is a good offense!

Upon our return to Colorado I began to look for a survival swim class (that I wasn’t even sure existed) for Matt. It didn’t take long before I had you on the phone and you were saying to me “If you’re looking for someone to teach your toddler to splash around and blow bubbles in the water, that’s not what we do”. I said, “No ma’am, I’m looking for water survival skills for my son”. I could hardly believe your confidence as you described the program; after all, we were talking about teaching a very defiant 2 year-old boy to swim! This conversation took place on a Thursday, and the next morning I was at the pool observing an 18 month old floating on his back in a full snowsuit. My eyes immediately teared up with relief that we had found IAS and an answer that someday might actually save Matt’s life. We enrolled that day and started private lessons with Kyla the next week.

The first couple days of lessons were hard to watch, but before I knew it, in that first week, Matt was doing the “Swim”. Not far behind was the “Swim-Float”, then almost as if by a miracle in the third week, the “Swim-Float-Swim”! I was totally astonished by how effective and efficient the techniques were that Kyla used; I’ve never seen anything like it (this coming from an ex-Red Cross WSI). Since then Matt’s comfort level and safety instincts in the water have continued to improve FAR beyond my expectations and we have not looked back or missed a lesson or Fun Friday. My ONLY regret is that I waited for a near-accident to prompt me to search out IAS- I should have gotten my son involved long before!

We are eternally grateful to you, Kyla and Infant Aquatics for your many years of dedication to teaching kids to swim so that you could help our son learn to “Swim-Float-Swim” when we needed you the most. Now that we have a “good offense” I realize that these lessons have been so much more than that. You’ve given him a skill that he can build on and have fun with for the rest of his life! My hope is that his new skills will never be put to a real survival test; however IAS has given our whole family a tremendous gift in the life-saving skills you have taught him. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Stacy Duncan

Dear Judy,

We found out about your lessons from our neighbor who has a 2-year old son named Adam. I was asking if anyone had ever taken swim lessons in the area. I was asked back, “Do you want your kids to play in the water or do you really want them to learn how to swim?” “SWIM OF COURSE!!!!” “Well then, you need to see Judy!” She told me Adam was doing swim-float-swim. I had to see this for myself and visited Adam during a Fun Friday. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had never seen such a young child swim so well.

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Then I thought about my kids. Alex, 4-years old, didn’t even want to get his eyes wet in the shower and Will, 2-years old, would start screaming at the sight of a swimming pool. I decided to enroll them in Infant Aquatics and the results were amazing. In the first week, they were both swimming under water. I couldn’t believe it. And while both boys continued to improve at each lesson, there was just one problem; Will was screaming his lungs out every day. I think he earned a black belt in screaming. The funny thing was every morning Will couldn’t wait to go swimming. For 5 weeks, Will screamed!!!!! You assured me that this was only a temporary phase, and suggested we visit another pool over the weekend. So before the sixth week, my husband and I took the kids to the rec center to go swimming as a family. After about 45 minutes of screaming a light bulb went on in Will’s head and he realized, “Hey, this swimming thing is a lot of fun!” He could not wait to see you the next day; he jumped right into your arms and swam like a fish. It was unbelievable! I can’t rave enough about your program. Six weeks ago, my kids would not even go near the water, now swimming is our most favorite family activity. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

Tracey Chiang

Dear Judy,

It was the middle of June, 2005. I took my boys, James, 5, and John, 3, to Union Reservoir in Longmont. They had not had any swim lessons nor had I taken them to any pool or reservoir before this summer.

We went with friends who had brought along several blow-up rafts. James decided to try one out. He did very well for awhile; floating along the shoreline while John was busy running all over the beach. I kept scanning my eyes from the beach to the lake; keeping watch over my children. As my eyes darted back and forth, I noticed that James was beginning to drift out into deeper water. I started walking toward him, talking to him as I made my way to where he was. I asked him to please turn around and come closer to me. Although he was trying, he could not get himself turned around. I was half way to him when he slipped off the raft and disappeared into the lake. He did not struggle at all; he went straight down. He came back up slightly and went down again, still not struggling. By the time he went down the second time, I was there to pull him up. I thank God I did not take my eyes off of him, or I would not have known where he was, in the deep, dark waters of the reservoir.

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The very next day, I called you. Our neighbors’ children had taken your lessons, and I knew in my heart Infant Aquatics was the place to go. Besides learning how to swim, my children both needed survival skills, You told me that it might be difficult for me to watch the lessons, and I remember telling you that nothing could be worse than the images permanently etched in my brain of that day at the reservoir.

The first two weeks of lessons were tough on us all. John was upset because he saw his big brother so distraught and James was mastering the art of stalling. He would constantly interrupt Kyla, saying he had a question, or that he needed to tell her something. Kyla just kept talking to him calmly but firmly during his time with her; reassuring him she was right there. And after each lesson, I saw improvement from the day before. Both boys were proud of themselves and what they had accomplished in the pool; yet the anxiety of getting in the pool the next day still remained.

By the third week, James finally started to relax a little, and, therefore, so did John.. They were really getting the hang of swim, float, swim. During the next two weeks, I saw a big change in James’ overall attitude about swimming. He was gaining confidence and actually enjoying his lesson: swimming on his back like a “chicken, airplane, rocket” and diving for rings. He would ask if we could get there a little early so he could watch some other children swim. If he expressed worry over something Kyla asked him to do, Kyla would tell him, You can do it! You’re a good swimmer!” Her positive attitude helped move James forward through those hesitant times.

Starting the sixth week, we brought in the same float he was on at the reservoir and had him reenact the incident from weeks before. He kicked himself over to the 12 ft. end, slid off the float exactly as he had before, and came up floating on his back!

James and John are now eager participants in Fun Friday and can confidently ride on a float, slide off, and swim, float, swim! It has been a great joy, seeing them both slowly but surely overcome their anxieties and gain self esteem with their newly acquired swimming skills. I am particularly proud of James, who, after the reservoir incident said he never wanted to go into the “ocean” again.

Cynthia Longo

Dear Judy,

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I just dropped my 4.5 year old off at preschool after swim lessons today to hear him proudly declare “I swam slapping the water (strokes) from the castle to the deep end of the pool today all by myself”. That moment made me realize that we have gotten so much more out of swim lessons than swimming (that’s the bonus!!) and I wanted to let you know how much I believe in your program.

As you know my 4.5 year old has been in swim lessons since he was 6 months old. Before he started lessons with you, he would panic in the deep part of the pool and be over confident in the shallow. After six lessons with you (that is approx. 1 hour total time) he did the swim-float-swim to the deep end of the pool and back. I’ve never seen him so proud of himself as he was that day! Also at the end of that same week one of his preschool teachers stopped me and said hey what’s going on with Cameron – this has been the best week he’s EVER had in 2 years. He’s so confident and social, it’s amazing. That’s exactly what I think – amazing!

There’s also my 3 year old little boy who is the one that I originally setup to swim with you because he was completely frightened of the water. We are going to Spain in May where Grandpa has a pool in the backyard and access to the beach and I wanted him to be safe and enjoy this wonderful opportunity. He did his clothing test today and I am still just amazed that 5 weeks ago he would cling to us at the pool. He loves swimming with you so much and now he gives swim lessons to everyone else “now you look at my fwipper”!

That brings us to the baby (boy #3) – 7 months old – who early on was such a struggle for me (not so much for him as for me). Your endless support, including our daily phone calls, really got me through that first week and I can say I’m so glad I stuck with it. You also gave me some really good advice – if you can’t support him in this program then pull him out. He looks to you and your reactions and that is a huge factor in his success. That piece of advice pretty much applies to all my children as they go through life – they will reflect my outlook and my attitude. Again as I watched him at his final lesson rolling over and floating with the basic survival skill – I simply say thank you.

I came to you to teach one of my little boys and now I have three little boys that are happy and confident in the water. I think this experience has shown them at a very young age that working hard for something instills a sense of self pride and self confidence not only in swimming but in so many other aspects of their life.

IAS by far has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done with my children. THANK YOU for not only giving my children the gift of swimming but for so much more. I feel like I am a stronger person and parent. I feel proud of myself because honestly it was hard, physically and emotionally, to go through this program with three kids at the same time. It required a lot of tough love but with all the time, effort and commitment I put forth, I can say I DID THIS! I gave them a skill they will have forever and I taught them something about themselves they will use forever. I am recommending you to everyone – JUST DO IT!

Leah Macaulay

Dear Judy,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching my kids to swim so GREAT! After shying away from your program for two years, with my then four year old son, I had instead tried two summers of other private and group swim lessons, with very limited success. We are not water people, as you know, and spend most of our recreational time as a family climbing rocks and camping, not swimming. Our son had trepidation around the water. He freaked out when his eyes would get wet in the bath, and getting his face wet at the pool was a major event. On the other hand, my infant daughter is a water lover. As summer was nearing, I was faced with the prospect of another summer with my two children who did not swim – my six year old son who was super shy in the water, and my 15 month old daughter who was completely eager to get in the water did not seem like a recipe for success around water. I decided I needed to bite the bullet and get them swimming this year. I started with my infant daughter, as I felt she would love your program (which she did!). And I knew my son would want to know how to swim as comfortably and as well as her. You were kind enough to allow him to participate in the lessons too, even though he was older than your usual student.

I need to express how TOTALLY in awe I am of your program and teaching ability and style. When I was first investigating swimming programs in the Boulder area 2 years ago I asked lots of parents about the different programs offered. Of course yours was a topic of many conversations, and being a mom of an only child at the time I decided that your classes sounded too intense, even though I had friends who had done your program with great success, they still made it sound really intimidating . I figured I would try some other methods first and see how they went. We live in Nederland so getting to Boulder every day for several weeks was a daunting thought, especially since I worked in Boulder then and my son went to pre-school in Nederland. Logistically it was not an inviting prospect.

However, this spring, after signing up with 100% commitment, and my schedule more able to handle the commute to Boulder everyday, I embarked on one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. It has been worth every effort we made to get to your classes. I cannot tell you how amazed my husband and I are with our kids swimming like little fish now, and totally loving it! It would seem that seeing our infant daughter happily swimming all over the pool would be more shocking and amazing. But actually seeing our son look forward to every day of swim class, loving and respecting you so much, and not even thinking twice about getting his face wet is nothing short of a miracle for us! We all, Jesse included, are shocked and amazed in the best possible way.

Our experience with you has been 100% positive. I think your methodology is brilliant and superbly effective. In 4-5 short weeks our kids are now swimming so beautifully, and safely. We cannot thank you enough for this valuable gift you have given our family. You are a master teacher and we are so honored that we have been able to reap the benefits of your incredible talents teaching children to swim and survive in the water.

Thank you very much!

Gea and Scott Franklin

Judy,

Thank you so much for teaching Kaitlin & Nicholas to swim. You are truly “The Swim Whisperer.” It has not been easy for me to watch, but the payoff and reward is huge. To see them not only swim, but grow in strength and confidence outside the pool has been so awesome.

I have appreciated your thoughtfulness and encouragement when I have called you with concerns, but I have always trusted you and your judgment. I see and feel how much you care about every one of your students.

The thing that was so outstanding to witness was “Fun Friday”, with all of your accomplished students. Watching “Fun Friday” turned Kaitlin from whining and complaining about swimming to being truly excited to learn to swim. Now that Kaitlin & Nicholas have gone to just one “Fun Friday” they both beam with excitement for the next one!

To sum this up, all I can say is thank you for all you do to not only teach children to swim, but to give them a foundation that hard work=success!!

Kris, Mike, Kaitlin & Nicholas

Dear Judy,

I’ve read ‘stories’ from people in your newsletter and on the website, saying how people commented on how amazing it was that their kids were swimming so well, etc. I didn’t really buy that part-that what they were doing actually WAS amazing. Well, I took Ted to the pool today. One hour and 10 minutes later, I had to drag him kicking and screaming into the locker rooms so we could pick up Sam. He swam/floated the whole time, to the wall, to me, to the steps, etc. He must be sooo tired! Every person there, and anyone who walked by, commented on how amazing he was and couldn’t believe he was ‘only 2.’ He wasn’t kicking much today, preferring to float face down and then kick while on his back (??) so he wasn’t exactly being stellar. I’m so happy that he has such confidence in the water and that he loves it so much! What a bonus!

After I got him out, he ran away from me and jumped into the lap pool (brrrr). About 4 people lept up to run over, but he bobbed up, floated, swam over to the side, and laughed. Needless to say, it was a blast.

THANK YOU!

Ellen & Ted

Dear Judy,

While on vacation in Mexico, a wave at the beach pulled our two year old under. One minute he had been right between his mother and me, and the next he was gone. Luckily he bobbed up choking, and we grabbed him. This incident prompted us to enroll both our 2 year old and our 12 month old in your program. Within four weeks, both were swimming and floating, even with their clothes on. Our kids have a blast in the water today because of a wonderful gift you gave them in teaching them to be comfortable, safe and happy in the water. For this Daina and I cannot thank you enough.

Dr. Dan Austin and Dr. Daina Mead

Dear Judy,

Today, after watching our just turned three year old twins swimming and floating happily during their lessons with you, we just had to write this thank you note. It was 10 months ago that one of them fell forward in the baby pool and made no effort to get her head out of the water to get air. We immediately decided on swim lessons. We researched what was available and chose your infant aquatic survival lessons. We are so glad we did. Not only are the girls much safer in the water; they have gained a respect for it as well. Watching two at a time by yourself is hard; and although we still do watch them very closely, it is comforting to know they are more capable of coping with an unexpected water incident if, heaven forbid, one should occur.

Our twins have gained a sense of self confidence from the lessons that has carried over into other aspects of their lives. We knew we made the right choice with you after their initial lessons, but it was reinforced following their recent brief refresher lessons. People are constantly saying they can’t believe how well the girls do in the water at such a young age. I attribute it all to your wonderful knowledge and teaching.

The time you spent showing us how to keep their skills up was invaluable. We are very grateful to you and want to say “Thank You So Much”.

Debbie and Joseph Montante, MD.

Hi Judy,

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Sarah & Ashley (age 2) prefer not to practice their skills at the lake, but they love going out in our boat this year and watching their big sister, the “Maniac” waterski. Nicole is cutting back and forth over the wake and skiing as well as many adults I know. I really attribute her confidence to her swimming ability. She just finished swim team and wanted me to email you her picture because you are her “real” swimming teacher. She finished out her season on the pre-team winning all 1st places in the 8 and under in their pre-team meet (at 6 yrs old).

She was often pulled up to the competitive 8 & under team in home meets for relays. I can really see where the early teaching of body position and head down has really built a foundation for her swimming ability. Well, thanks again as always and we’ll talk to you soon.

Ann Hulet

Swim Lessons Longmont