89-year-old woman hopes to inspire others, learn to swim

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email
Swimming lessons

Dorothy Gresham has spent her life beside the pool, not in it. (WRDW-TV / June 22, 2011)

News 12 at 6 o' clock / June 22, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It's never too late to do something you've always wanted to do. That's what an 89-year-old Augusta woman wants you to know.

For years, she has put her kids, grandkids, and great grandchild first, but now it's her turn to dive in.

Dorothy Gresham has spent her life beside the pool, not in it.

"I just wouldn't know what to do with my arms and legs, how to work them, and I think I would just go under," Gresham said.

It's exactly why at 89 years old - or 89 years young - she's finally jumping in. Wednesday was her second day of swimming lessons.

"She -one time - saw one of my classes that I was teaching for the kids and asked if I offered adult swim lessons," said Swim Instructor Chris Cummings.

Cummings said he's used to teaching about 3-to-12 year olds."

Add 70-some years to that and you've got his latest client.

She may even listen to him better than some of his kids do, even if it is a little hard for her to hear sometimes.

Cummings said the only difference between teaching kids and teaching adults is that children are fearless, with adults have lived with their fears all their lives.

This great-grandmother, grandmother of 4, with 4 of her own, has traded in her glasses for goggles all to overcome a fear.

The one to help her do that, a college student and lifeguard. One she is hoping to put behind her and one, after this lesson, she'll be rewarded for in more ways than one.

"He makes the best spaghetti," Gresham said.

Gresham walks the track, walks the pool and does aerobics everyday.
She now hopes to inspire anyone else considering something new - to try it.

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