Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Swimmin’ With the Fishies

I don't know how to swim and I've always been a little leery (hahahaha) of water.  So leery, in fact, that when I was baptized at the tender age of 8 (or so), as Reverend Carter lowered me into the water, my left hand had a death grip on the side of the baptismal pool (or whatever it's called).  To this day, I can blame all my evil deeds on my left hand!  Probably ought to talk to Pastor Dave about having my left forearm blessed or something, eh?  Anyway, back to my point…
I attribute my fear of water to falling out of a canoe on a Girl Scout trip which I went along on when I was wee because the Sibs were Girl Scouts (not me, I was never a Girl Scout - I'm not a joiner – although Mom did talk me into trying Brownies – I only attended a couple of meetings) and mom was a chaperone or something.  Mom says that this never happened.  Insists I've never been in a canoe.  I think it's a conspiracy and they're all hiding the truth from me so that I don't publish a tell-all novel about the abuse to which I was subjected as a child!  That has to be it.  I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations would have already passed so it can't be fear of prison.
If it wasn't the canoe incident, then it might have been the time that Mom drove me to school and the truck got stuck in high water on a bridge over Big Creek, and I had to walk through me-high water to get to safety.  I KNOW that that happened.
Or I could just be a weenie.  That's a viable option, too.
For whatever reason, I've never learned how to swim.  As an adult, I took several years of water aerobics and was able to relax enough to do my exercising in boob-high water without having to keep a death grip on the side of the pool, and I even was able to float using a noodle!  But that's as far as I was able to go and then I stopped doing water aerobics because the good teachers all left and there was only little old ladies who just puddled around the pool for an hour and organized puddling in the pool isn't good aerobic exercise.
But as we are all aware, I've had some developmental strides in the past few years, and I was ready to learn to swim.  At a Harvest meeting in January, I was talking with another girl about God only knows what, and it came out that I wanted to learn how to swim.  Another girl, Lyzz, chimed in and said she could teach me; and a plan was hatched.
That was several months ago, and due to schedules and spring breaks and me having to work during the days, we never managed to make it to the pool.  I really wanted to learn, but honestly, I was scared enough that it didn't bother me too much that we never got there.  I did go to Dick's and get me a cool bright pink swim cap so as to protect my lovely locks of … hair.  Don't want the pool chemicals to react with the hair color chemicals and change the color to something horrible.  And I got me some goggles… or Googles, as I said to the sales girl when asking where to find the swim stuff… because it's bad enough getting water up my nose, but with my contacts and stuff, I didn't want to get it in my eyeballs.
Well, last night we made it.  As you can tell in the picture, I looked fab in my swimsuit, cap and goggles.  I wanted to chicken out so bad.  Mom said a prayer for me and I went. 
I was in the pool.  I learned how to bob under the water holding my breath.  I discovered that looking at stuff underwater is cool!  Then Lyzz wanted me to float, and I couldn't because I couldn't relax because I was scared.   So I asked Laura, another girl with us who can swim but not really all that well and so she was getting taught too, to say a prayer.  She did, asking for courage, and the next time I tried to float, I could!!  Praise God!  I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me, so I figure helping me relax and learn to swim should be easy since He walked on water, right!?
I was able to relax enough to learn how to do the dead man float.  Then the next thing I know, Lyzz has me floating, holding onto one of those floaty board things that kids use, pushing off the side and kicking my feet and I'm almost swimming!  Then the next step is to add my arms in there and before I know it, ROSE IS SWIMMING!!!  Not very far, fast, or well, but I confirmed with Lyzz and Laura that I can honestly say that I was swimming!!
My problem now is that I need to learn how to breathe.  I can float, kick off, and paddle, but I only get so far before I have to breath or die, so I stand up (yes, we're in 3 feet of water) and stop so I can breathe.  I'm pretty sure that won't win me any Olympic gold.  Maybe a bronze, but if I'm going to do this, I'm going for the gold, baby! 
Our little swim class has now grown to four because two other girls have joined us.  While Lyzz was working with them, I was practicing and trying to breathe.  I almost got it a couple of times.  In an hour and a half, I'd made SO much progress!  I'm going back tonight and tomorrow night, maybe Thursday.  Gonna try to learn as much as possible so next week while we're on vacation, I can go down to the hotel's pool and practice.  Yeah, me!!