Peter Oakes is 57 years old. Earlier this year he set out to learn to swim.
Now, months later, you can find him at the local pool each week doing exactly that, making his way up and down the lane, honing his new hobby.
He's even starting to enjoy it.
"It's been a special year doing the lessons," Oakes told the Bay of Plenty Times.
"It's really lifted my year, it really has. There's enjoyment as well as the learning. Or, maybe, the learning leads to the enjoyment."
Back in May, he signed up for "improver" swimming classes at Mount Maunganui's BayWave, about 20 minutes' drive from his home in Te Puke.
Oakes isn't scared of the water. He loves it. He has surfed, body-surfed, wind-surfed, and spent time on boats.
But he has never swum well.
"Like a house brick," he often says with a laugh.
Then, this year, after foot surgery, Oakes was doing some recovery in a pool and decided "I would really like to try to get better at this".
So he took the plunge.
There was a touch of self-consciousness at his first lesson as he looked around the pool and saw small children learning to swim, just like he was.
But that feeling quickly evaporated and these days it's the furthest thing from Oakes' mind.
"I just focus on what I'm doing, I'm really not concerned with too much else," he said.
Oakes, a support worker in the disability sector, shared his story with the Bay of Plenty Times in June. We went along and watched him during his swimming lessons and when he returned to the pool to do his own training.
Since then he has completed another set of 10 lessons and regularly goes to the pool by himself to practise, often once, twice or even three times a week.
"The confidence has grown and there are just so many little basic things, I think, that I didn't use to do right, and that's huge. Just little bits and pieces. These people [the swimming teachers] are so good," Oakes said.
He said he's swimming better now and his technique has improved.
"Certainly there's starting to be some enjoyment. And I think the more I do it, the more that'll come back, or emerge. I guess for a long time I'd wondered what I was doing right or wrong, well, I've got a much better idea now of how to do it right."
Oakes has even started to try a bit of backstroke.
"I find it awkward but really valuable ... I just do a bit each time I go swimming. I mix it up."
His new swimming hobby has also brought about other healthy habits. He's started kayaking and walking quite a bit.
"And I think exercise generally is good for headspace and how you feel physically. I'm convinced of it."
The Bay of Plenty Times set out to tell Oakes' story with New Zealand's tragic preventable drowning death statistics front of mind. Here was a New Zealand-born man, a Kiwi bloke, breaking down any and all stigmas that exist around learning to swim as an adult.
And now he hopes others will follow suit.
"I'd recommend it to anybody who's thinking about it, give it a shot," Oakes said.
"I really would. All ages, it doesn't matter if you're 5 or 50 or 80, whatever. And if you're not sure about it, just go and get some lessons. Then you're with the people who do know the stuff, and can give you the guidance."