Just Keep Swimming…

30 Oct

When I am stressed there is nothing I like more than to go for a swim. I like the way that the lapping water calms me, and I love walking along the beach for the same reason.

Not so much as a child. My mother, like any mother, wanted the best for me. Over the years she bought me various “first 1000 words in… (insert language)” books, signed me up for ballet classes and competitions and tried to give me a rounded childhood. She also tried to get me to learn to swim.

To give you some background, I had a bit of an aversion to water. As a small child the bath was fine, splash splash splash, beard made out of bath bubbles, squirting water out of a fish…. All fun and games. Hair washing was another matter, and if water made contact with my head I would scream and scream and get myself so worked up that I might be sick. How my Mum looked forward to hair washing nights!

As I got older, I used to ask if I could do swimming lessons in the summer. The first year Mum enthusiastically booked me in, and the time came when I was to get in the water. Brand new swimming costume, very excited at the thought of being able to swim…. Wouldn’t get in the water. There were tears and tantrums and princess strops, and eventually my Mum could see that there was no way I was getting in the water. We went home in frosty silence.

The next year I requested the lessons again. I assured my Mum that I was indeed ready to learn, and she relented and booked them in. We got to the pool, I wouldn’t get in and my sister got the privilege of a week’s lessons. You can see where this is going.

The next year, the same thing happened. My sister was the best in the class, mainly for the fact that she had done swimming lessons every year when I wouldn’t do them. For the shame! My Mum also refused to talk to me for a bit as I had ruined her day. Just so happened it was her birthday.

Then one year we went to Italy. My cousins came too, along with my grandparents and mum and dad. I remember being horribly embarrassed that the other girls were playing in the pool for the majority of the holiday, and it was too deep in the shallow end for me to even play. I watched them for a few days, and then one day when my granny was in charge of watching us I climbed down the ladder and into the deep end of the pool. Understandable, my grandmother panicked, and rushed to the side of the pool to watch me swim breast stroke to the ladder at the shallow end and get out of the water.

“You can swim?!” everyone asked. It wasn’t that I could swim, but it seemed that I had watched everyone else do it for such a long time that I understood the theory of the task and was able to just get in and get on with it.

And I’ve loved the water ever since. I’m nothing if not stubborn!

Have you ever surprised yourself by being able to do something?

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14 Responses to “Just Keep Swimming…”

  1. blisstravelsnews October 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I agree. For me it was starting a business! Who knew! And now it’s thriving 🙂

  2. zendictive October 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    are we but guppies caught in the current of life (~_~) keep swimming

  3. prenin October 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I discovered that I have learned to touch type and I have no idea no idea how… :o)

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.

  4. Doc October 30, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    I’m not much of a swimmer even though I grew up in Southern California on the beach. Even surfed occasionally. But there’s nothing more calming than strolling on a deserted beach in the middle of winter.

  5. liquorstorebear October 30, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    I am terrified of swimming! More specifically, I am terrified of going in the washing machine. One of my friends, Violet Purplebunny, went through the heavy cycle a while ago and emerged very bitter and changed.
    The other aspect of getting wet is that I could very well be mistaken for the bar rag at a tavern or pub if I get too wet.
    All that said, glad you took to swimming. Remember, alcohol is for after swimming, not before 😉

  6. Team Oyeniyi October 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    😆 I’m glad I wasn’t your Mum! That is the second time I’ve said that this morning!

    I love the sea, though, and water, so I’m with you on that score!

  7. An Observant Mind October 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    My father-in-law purchased a pogo stick for my son last Christmas, he had never seen one so we had to show him how to use it. I was sure it would be a disaster – Im 37 for Gods sake, it would have to have been 25 years since Ive been on one! On I got and off I went – I was the hero mum!

  8. barkinginthedark October 31, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    my uncle Manny actually picked me up and threw me in the pool (3 ft end) when i was about three and a half…i must’ve liked it because i was on my school swim team…AND i’m still alive. yeah, swimming is a good thing, and one of the best all over exercises there is. continue…

  9. amazing weathervane October 31, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Amelia October 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Love your writing style– “frosty silence” and “princess strops”. Thanks for the fun posts!

  11. kathryningrid October 31, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ indeed! Nothing like imminent drowning to either, erm, drown you or teach you to swim! So glad the actual event had a happy ending in your case. 🙂

  12. Granddad November 2, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    I remember the incident in Italy well. But what I remember most is when you got out of the pool. You were wearing a nylon swimming costume that was a bit tight round the legs and did not drain well. It was full of water which had all sunk below your waist and made you look like the alien from American Dad! Thanks for the memories Honey!
    Love,
    Granddad.

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