• Last modified 784 days ago (Aug. 13, 2020)


91-year-old enrolls in swimming lessons

Staff writer

Marion resident Madonna Schafers is living proof that you’re never too old to learn something new.

Schafers, 91, is taking private swimming lessons at Marion Sports and Aquatics Center twice a week under the tutelage of Randy Carlson, assistant manager of the center.

Her daughter suggested swimming lessons to Schafers.

“I’m having trouble with my legs,” Schafers said. “That’s why I’m taking swimming lessons. My daughter thought it would do me good for walking.”

Although she started lessons only a couple of weeks ago, she likes learning.

“So far I’m surprising myself,” Schafers said. “I was always afraid of trying.”

Pool staff members are permitted to offer private lessons at $15 each, Carlson said. People who sign up can say whether they want a certain number of lessons or want to pay as they go.

Most often, learners are children, he said.

“Madonna happens to be the first older woman to ask us,” Carlson said. “We’re here to help anybody who asks for help. We would never turn anybody down.”

He told Schafers water exercise would help her mobility and balance and help her gain strength in her legs.

“I also encouraged Madonna to try water aerobics,” he said. “They feel weightless in the pool. and the water helps them.”

Private lessons are an option Carlson wants people to know are available for anyone, not just kids.

Last modified Aug. 13, 2020