Pat B.

Tacoma Center YMCA

Pat admits she had never been a fan of water – of course drinking it or taking a shower, maybe even wading in a couple inches but that’s pretty much it…up until seven years ago.

“When I was five years old, I nearly drowned in the Pacific Ocean but thanks to my aunt I lived to see many more years,” says Pat.

Spending too much time on the side of the pool during youth swimming lessons proved to be “a waste of time” she describes and her fear of the water continued to fester.

“Fast forward 44 years, I’m 54 and sitting at the table by the pool at a motel in southern Oregon and observing my four grandchildren enjoying the water without any fear. Observing, I asked myself how many more years I was going to let my fear keep me from enjoying pivotal moments with them, like swimming.”

Upon arriving home, Pat decided she would give water another chance and signed up for Adult Swim Lessons at the Mel Korum YMCA in Puyallup. She was overjoyed by the one on one attention she received from her instructor and slowly began to regain her trust in the water.

“I was fearlessly swimming laps during the lessons and even tried to swim on my back!”

Her instructor advised Pat to just lay back and she would guide her shoulders to assist her. After three attempts, Pat finally did it! She was swimming!

“(My instructor) stayed next to me all the way across the pool. I was almost in tears. I was so amazed and overjoyed.That was such an accomplishment for me.”

Pat admits her younger brother doesn’t know how to swim. Because of her experience with Adult Swim Lessons at the Y and her newfound confidence, Pat said, “If I can learn, you can too!”

Pat has been a member of the Y for nearly 15 years. Working right across the street from the Tacoma Center YMCA, Pat has found “her people.”

“I love the atmosphere at the Y! It’s encouraging and it feels like an episode of ‘Cheers’ where everyone knows your name.”

Pat attributes the accepting environment of the Tacoma Center Y and staff to what keeps her going every day.