The scene looked almost like an intervention - Larry's wife and mother sitting at the table waiting to speak with him as he walked through the door. They had already signed him up for Floating Beyond Fear so there was really no turning back now. He was going to learn to float.
"With a lump in my throat, I reluctantly agreed to take the class," Larry says. "My first day when walking around the pool, we passed by the 'deep end'. Fear stunned me and I pushed back against the bench."
After a traumatic experience in his youth, Larry became part of the 46 percent of Americans who are afraid of the deep end of the pool. Floating Beyond Fear is a specialized class developed at the Haselwood YMCA to help people overcome their fear by providing a supportive environment both in and out of the water.
"I looked around the class and saw the same hesitations that I felt," Larry says. "I felt comfortable that I was not alone."
After several weeks of group discussions about why people develop a fear of water, and supportive class instruction in the pool, Larry returned to the same spot in the deep end.
"I went to that same 'deep end' and treaded water," Larry says. "I have overcome many fears in this class and I would gladly tell everyone that I meet to encourage those with fears of water to join this class. You are not alone."