Some people can float who cannot swim. Others can swim but are not able
to float. That is, they think they are not and do not seem willing to
try, but it is quite necessary every one should know how to rest in the
water, and learning to float is very essential.
The hand of a friend will help you in this as in learning to swim, but
for floating it is held under the back of your head instead of under
in. Lie on your back with legs straight before you, feet
together, arms close at your sides, and head thrown back; trust the
water to bear you up and all that is necessary to keep you afloat is a
rotary motion of your hands _under_ water. After a time all movement may
be given up and you will lie easily and quietly as on a bed. It is said
that it is easier for women and girls to float than for men, because
their bones are lighter, and some learn to float the first time they
enter the water; all of which is very encouraging to girls. Breathe
deeply but naturally while floating, for the more air there is in your
lungs the more buoyant will be your body and the higher it will float.
If your body is inclined to roll from side to side spread out your arms
_under_ water until you steady yourself. If your feet persist in sinking
extend your arms above your head _under_ water and this will maintain
Do not try to lift your head, but keep it well back in the water. If
your nose and mouth are out that is all that is necessary. Let your
muscles relax and lie limply.
To regain your feet after floating bring your arms in front and pull on
the water with scooped hands while raising your body from the hips.