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Thread: Paraplegic Swimming Lessons?

  1. #1

    Paraplegic Swimming Lessons?

    Ok gang....anyone know where near Pittsburgh, PA that a T-8 para can get swimming lessons?

    I've tried a local place here (Harmerville HealthSouth Rehab)...but no luck.

  2. #2
    I would start here, since they say they have a program:

    This location advertises adaptive swim lessons:

    Also, have you checked with your local Parks and Recreation Department?
    Local colleges and universities (many of whom offer adaptive swimming classes)? Here is a listing for Indiana University of Penn. The class is for PE majors, but they may be looking for "subjects" too:

    HPED 372 Health and Physical Education for Special Populations
    Prerequisites: EDEX 112, junior level or above
    Methods and techniques of teaching health and physical education to special populations are explored. Designed primarily for students majoring in special education. Focuses on handicapping conditions, limitations imposed by such conditions, and the responsibility of the special education teacher working in the physical education setting.

    The local MS Society (which often has swim programs)?
    Have you called your local PVA chapter and spoken to their sports director?


  3. #3
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey Kovyfan,

    I actually went to harmmerville for rehab. Are you saying they wont let you use their pool? or your saying they don't have swimming lesssons? THats pretty weak they hardly even use that thing!
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;

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  4. #4
    I'm saying that they don't have swimming lessons....they do indeed have a pool.

    Which is why I was surprised that they didn't offer lessons..

  5. #5
    My girl is a t5-6 level injury and we went to our local 24 hour fitness and when nobody was in the pool, we got in. I helped her a little at first then she just used one of those floaty noodle things to help her gain some buoyancy (sp?). After a VERY short time (maybe an hour) she stopped using the noodle! I tried to swim with no aid from my legs and it was incredibly difficult for me. I was paddling my arms like crazy to stay afloat! I couldn't believe how well she did.
    Just maybe get a friend to help you make a run at it. You know how to swim (right?) so just work at it. With practice she can now swim laps! I'm so proud of her!!!
    Like Nike says, "just do it"

  6. #6
    How do you manage the body temperature problem?
    - Richard

  7. #7
    Before my accident I was a competitive swimmer and I gave lessons as well, so naturally I continue to make swimming a huuuuge part of my post-sci life as well. I haven't seen any paraplegic swim lessons yet, but if you already have some experience you can do pretty well with a pull bouy that you stick between your legs. This will keep your legs from dragging behind you and give you a great upper body workout!


  8. #8
    I used to swim competitively at a very amateur level when I was veeery young. Didn't swim for nearly 30 years. I never liked exercise, always liked sports, so I didn't like the saratoga, or vitaglide or anything like that to keep a little active. Then I started swimming about two or three months ago and it was not too bad. By the third or fourth time I was finding my rythm and swimming several laps. I had trouble shifting my body to breathe but managed to adapt the stroke when breathing and now I can breathe.

    I use the kids arms floaters on my legs so that they don't scrape the floor and to keep my legs horizontal. It makes swimming a lot easier. I have even tought my kids to swim. I do it about three times a week and do about 300 yards per session. I am working my way up. 300 yards is not much but it is better than nothing. In the picture attached you can see the kids floaties just below my knees.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

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