For five years, One with the Water has been teaching people of all ages and abilities to learn to swim, to conquer their fears. We want our students to grow in confidence and ultimately become “one with the water!”
What better way to kick off our birthday celebration than to re-introduce you to our founder, visionary and head swim coach Kenneth Rippetoe. You can read all about his certifications and swimming accomplishments in Swim Coach Kenneth. I encourage you to do that!
But the medals don’t make a man. We want you to get to know the heart behind the photograph, and the commitment that comes from a lifetime of teaching people to become One with the Water. Just for fun, I asked Kenneth to tell us some fun memories of his swimming life:
Describe your best day in the water.
“My best day was at a collegiate conference championship swim meet. I was swimming the 100-yard backstroke, and it was incredible. I felt like I was watching myself swim, having an out-of-body experience. And, I qualified for US Nationals in this swim!”
Describe your worst day in the water.
“Worst day, probably had to be swimming backstroke, when I was six years old, and I hit the wall really hard with the top of my head. Even from a young age, I tend to “get into the zone” when I am swimming and sometimes I forget where I am and what I’m doing.”
Pick one-way swimming has made your life better and tell us about it.
Swimming is my meditation. It is my escape from everything and it is what I do best in the world. Having the time to escape ever so often, I can be more productive and accomplish anything I want.”
What do you love most about teaching swimming?
“I love most seeing the miracles that occur when the kids “get it” and become at One with the Water. No matter their abilities, no matter how long it might take, they all have a miracle. I teach everyone from A-List actors, their children, the Royal Family of Great Britain, the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, to kids with special needs, inner-city kids, as well as adults with a lifetime fear of the water. It’s so much fun no matter who the student and the miracle always happens.”
As I am talking to Swim Coach Kenneth, there are three things that are impossible to miss. First, how much he loves his dogs. I’ve learned about his, and he’s learned about mine! Second, and slightly more relevant, is how much he loves teaching people to swim. And not just because early swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning accidents up to 88%, but because learning to swim has the power to make our whole person better. He teaches because he knows what it’s like to hate swimming lessons or to have a fear of the water. In fact, his first memory of a swimming lesson was terrifying! He hated lessons but was dragged to the pool kicking and screaming. His desire is to help kids to learn to love it as much as he does, and ultimately to become One with the Water!
For coach Kenneth, building confidence in children and continuous growth are important aspects of teaching kids how to swim.
“Now that I have become so proficient in swimming, I always feel the most confident when I am swimming. I’ve been told in the past that I need to carry myself out of the pool as I do in the pool. Swimming creates a natural way to further develop our capacity to accomplish goals and to grow. When we accomplish an impossible set in the water, it carries forward to us accomplishing anything on land! We feel like we can do anything.”
The third thing, and perhaps the most telling is how passionate Kenneth is about the Foundation. Kenneth started One with the Water with the mission of creating miracles in the lives of children and adults, including those with special needs. He believes in empowering them with confidence and accomplishment. We are proud to provide swimming lessons for children with special needs and families with limited financial needs.
What better way to contribute than to give the lifesaving gift of swimming to others! Partner with us today to teach economically disadvantaged children, special needs children, and Service-Disabled Veterans to become One with the Water! Be a hero today, and when you donate now, you can help reduce the risk of drowning for children by up to 88%! Be a hero and help us save the life of a child.
Want more details? Visit our foundation page to be a hero.
Molly is a member of our creative team, mom of four water-loving babies, and a fierce advocate for CPR training and really early swim instruction.