When I took up the sport of triathlon a decade ago, I had a major hurdle to overcome – a lifelong fear of the water. Though I took lots of swim lessons as a kid, I could never comfortably complete a lap. I could run a marathon. I couldn’t swim a lap. Which is why I’m so excited about this new invention, a swimsuit designed to prevent drowning.
It’s not a bulky lifejacket. It’s gorgeous-looking swimwear with built-in, air-filled tubes to discreetly add buoyancy and a sense of security whenever a swimmer exhales. I have to give big props and kudos to designer Katerina Semenko and inventor Valery Griznov for bringing this potentially lifesaving idea to fruition. They’ve designed men’s trunks and a women’s bikini and one-piece suit that are seriously stylish and safety conscious.
After speaking with numerous other “chicken-of-the-sea-and-pool” types over the years, I know there’s a huge market of adults who would like to learn how to swim. They were simply born with a fear of swimming. They’re scarred by the pain of losing a loved one to a drowning. Their parents couldn’t afford swim lessons for them growing up. And on top of all that they don’t want to expose this vulnerability to anyone because it’s embarrassing. Yet, they also don’t want to pass this fear down to their children and grandchildren.
Uslon Swimwear could very well provide the impetus and the reassurance they need to finally get back in the water, take some swim lessons, and maybe even enter a triathlon. It can be done. In my case, my young nephew and niece stoically cheered me on at the Belmont Pool as I struggled for months to swim one lap. I joined a Master’s Swimming program and received some coaching. I met a lot of new friends who helped me along the way. And last year, I swam the 2.4-mile Ironman course in Kona without a wetsuit. When you can learn to overcome a fear of swimming, it has a way of permeating optimism into other areas of your life. You stop talking yourself out of things. Taking the plunge becomes a way of life