Four years ago, Paul Frost couldn’t swim. Now he swims six days a week, competes as a masters swimmer and coaches kids with a competitive swim club. And the catalyst that led him to learn to swim? A swim instructor at NVRC. Here’s Paul’s story.
Kids Swimming Lessons
Paul’s a great father. He semi-retired the year his son was born and has been a stay at home dad ever since. He and his wife always wanted their son to learn the life skill of swimming and so they enrolled him in lessons with the NVRC when he was young. NVRC swim instructor, Khosro Mansuri, noticed that Paul’s son was a strong swimmer and recommended that they enrol him in the NVRC’s Swim Academy (a program of swim workouts that emphasize skill, stroke improvement and swim endurance). His son, who was starting to tire of swimming, became reenergized with the sport through the Academy; it was challenging and fun.
One day, while his son was swimming at Harry Jerome, Paul was approached by Khosro who asked him, “Why aren’t you swimming while your son is in class?” Paul responded, “I don’t know how to swim.” Khosro then encouraged Paul to take some adult swim lessons so he could learn to swim.
Learning to Swim
Paul, who only knew how to float and splash around, began taking adult swim lessons at Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre. It was challenging at first but he was determined to learn. After three months of lessons, he knew he could do it. Swimming was still a bit of a struggle but he felt he was making headway. Then came a breakthrough - after six months of lessons, Paul suddenly found his breathing rhythm and he went from swimming one length at a time to swimming 1000 metres (40 lengths) without stopping.
Becoming a Masters Swimmer
Paul joined the masters swim program at Harry Jerome two years ago. In the class, participants follow a program of specific lengths and swim strokes developed by the instructor, Khosro Mansuri. Paul enjoys doing the masters swim three times a week and said, “It’s a great workout swimming lengths and doing intervals. Swimming is a technical skill and there’s always something new to learn. I love the challenge”.
Being in masters swimming led Paul to start competing in masters swim events and for the past two seasons he’s competed once a month at pools across the Lower Mainland as well as at the provincial championships in Kelowna this past April.
Benefits of Swimming
Paul knows that he has a healthier, toned and lean body thanks to swimming. Swimming has improved his stamina and gives him more energy. It has also provided him with social connections as he knows just about everyone who swims at Harry Jerome on weekday mornings. He enjoys talking with other keen swimmers to keep his motivation up.
Now Paul and his son swim together and he’s proud of what both he and his son have accomplished. “It’s great that we both love swimming. Now I’m a coach with the Otters Swim Club in West Vancouver and really enjoy working with the kids 6 – 10 years old. I love teaching swimming and seeing them learn something new.”
Advice to Others
For those thinking of learning to swim or looking to take up swimming for fitness, Paul says, “Just start! Take some lessons – they are easy and enjoyable. When you do something more often, you enjoy it more.” Paul’s life has been forever changed and enhanced since he took the leap and learned to swim as an adult and he’s now looking forward to more competitive swimming, coaching and swimming with his son.
Interested in swimming? Check out NVRC’s swimming lessons both group and private and dive into fitness and fun!