>Cross Training>I Can't Swim (not literal)
Husband and father of 4
It's all about technique. Get the basics down from a book, video, friend or coach, and you'll be fine. Be sure to record your current efforts, because months from now you'll be amazed at how quickly you improved!
There is hope. Last January I joined a local Tri club and I had to stop to grasp for air after 50m. I can now swim 1000m easily and probably can keep going for a while. I was going to the pool twice a week, 1 hour each, for 8 months. I suggest you take lessons or join a tri club with swim practices. Swimming as opposed to running is a lot about technique and having someone correct your stroke helps a lot. I suggest a tri club over a masters swim club because in tri clubs you usually focus on freestyle, the stroke you're going to end up using in the race. Also, I really suck at the other styles.
I'm really reserved and quiet so asking someone at the pool to help is out of the question (long story) and I can't hire someone.