CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - African-Americans are three times more likely to drown than white Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The numbers are shocking. According to a study conducted by USA Swimming nearly 60 percent of black children can't swim. That study doesn't take into account how many black adults can't either. And I should know because I'm one of them.
I am scared to death of the water.
Basir Robertson is going to be my swimming coach and he says that fear of the water can come from any number of different places. "Some people have backgrounds where they may have a fear of water or their parents may have a fear of water so it trickles down to the children," he said.
So last month I decided to do something about it.
With the help of Roberston, a swimming instructor with the City of Charleston Parks and Recretation Department, I took the plunge. Slowly.
This was the first of eight lessons. Today was about learning the basics. "When you start, you're going to do three different things at one time."
And for the first time out, I didn't do too bad. That is until the water got deeper. For now it's back to baby steps for this thirty-something who can't swim.
But with my next lesson, that all changes.