South Florida

Swim Week: Adults Need Lessons Too

Children aren't the only ones who need to take swimming lessons - adults are just as important. And now the YMCA of South Florida is here to help adults who haven't learned to swim.

Jocelyn Boyd is one of those adults who used to be terrified of pools and canals because she never learned how to swim.

"I stayed away because I'm terrified. I was afraid of drowning, I was afraid of the feel of it. I was never really comfortable," she told NBC 6. "I did have a few experiences where I got in water and even though I had on a life jacket, I was afraid and I really thought I was dying."

But one day she decided to confront her fear. Two years ago, the 39-year-old started taking adult swim lessons at the YMCA.

"I live in South Florida now and water is a quality of life here and I was missing out on that part by not knowing how to swim," Boyd said.

Not only was she missing out, but learning how to swim is critical for drowning prevention. If a parent doesn't learn how to swim, there is only a 13 percent chance that a child in that household will learn how to swim.

"It's not really a good example or a model if I didn't know how to swim and then I wanted to be able to help," Boyd said. "Sometimes you take kids to the pool and if you don't know how to swim, how can you be of assistance if they find themselves in trouble? So I wanted to make sure that I was prepared and equipped to not only do my job but I also wanted to be able to enjoy life."

There are many reasons that an adult may not learn how to swim but Boyd says that her fear of the water didn't help.

"There was a lot of fear. I grew up up north where there weren't very many pools," she said.

Now, that's no longer the case.

"I feel empowered, I feel great," she said. "It feels good, I have a much higher quality of life."

She also wants other adults to not give up.

"Get out there and do it. It's possible. It's never too late and it feels awesome," she said.

The YMCA will be offering free swim lessons from May 2-6. For more information on the lessons, click here.

For more on NBC 6's Swim Week, click here.

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