Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Quitting


Have I ever quit something? I’m not much of a quitter—I have trouble starting things. You know ...


“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

~Samuel Beckett

When I was about 8 years old, I spent the summer with my grandparents and aunt in Atlanta, GA. (As a mom, I now understand the value of that free time for parents.) Looking for activities, my aunt set me up with swim lessons at the local recreation department. Seems odd that someone from the Virginia Beach, VA, area needed swim lessons, but no one in my family swims.

So there I am, in my Supergirl swimsuit--which I loved--ready to learn how to swim with 10 other kids. After getting in the pool, the first thing the instructor tells us to do is open our eyes underwater. Well I just couldn’t do it. The feeling of standing chest-high in chlorinated water staring at my feet is still fresh in my mind. I still remember one of the kids saying, “I thought Supergirl could do anything.” *Sigh.*

Needless to say, I did not finish the lesson and never returned to class. To this day, I keep my eyes closed in a pool, and I’m not a strong swimmer. Now that I am a mom with active kids, I’ve been pondering the idea of taking swim lessons. But something in me doesn’t want to try. If I don’t try, I won’t fail. Silly, I know, but some lessons are hard to unlearn.


And for more people with good reasons for quitting, visit Sunday Scribblings.

16 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

After I got embroiled in an accident, I simply quit driving. I wish I hadn't.

ghost of words jumping haphazardly

GreenishLady said...

I was an adult (21) when I finally learnt to swim - not perfectly, and I still hate to put my face in the water, but I can keep myself up. It's not elegant, but it IS swimming, I figure. Go on. Wear goggles if you have to. Or stay in the shallow end. Enjoy!

Lucy said...

great post!
Oh Boy! Can I relate to your story! I cannot open my eyes in the water either. May I share my swimming story with you? I think you won't relate completely but you may enjoy some similarities.

http://luluspetals.blogspot.com/2008/04/fearless-or-just-plain-stupid.html

Becca said...

This reminds me a bit of my childhood experience with dance classes - I had to quit since I was just too chubby to be graceful!

And I can't bear to put my face in the water either ;)

Granny Smith said...

I can't open my eyes under water either, and I am a miserable swimmer. I can float on my back, though, with me face above water, and I have always hoped that if I were in a drowning situation (a shipwreck, maybe?) that that ability would save me.

fearfullymade said...

I've been swimming since before I can remember, although it's been a long time since I swam come to think of it. I don't recall if I've ever opened my eyes underwater. I think you're probably supposed to keep your eyes above the water, it tends to make it easier to see where you're going that way!!

anthonynorth said...

Personally, I always try to face my demons. But sometimes it can be impossibly hard.

C. Dale said...

Get some goggles! You can open your eyes without them getting chlorinated.

--The Pragmatist

Tammie Lee said...

Me thinks super girl was smart not to open her eyes in chlorinated water! Maybe a trip to the warm waters of Hawaii would inspire a good swim!

odessa said...

ah, mine is even worse. i grew up in an island, we lived 5 minutes from the beach and i never learned how to swim! i vowed i will take adult swimming lessons this summer though. hope you will too, and maybe we can exchange crazy (mis)adventures.

Deirdre said...

I can't open my eyes either. Not that it would do me much good - can't see a thing without glasses or contacts.

For the record, I took adult swim classes twice and still can't swim, but I float very well.

January said...

I'm amazed at how many of us either can't open our eyes underwater, or have trouble/cannot swim.

For the record, I can kinda swim, and I float very well. However, I have not mastered the illusive dog paddle. Just don't expect me to save a life!

Goodnight, Mom said...

LEARN TO SWIM!!!! Take a class at the Y!

You should learn so that you can save your kids' lives, if need be.

Just a suggestion...

-Aqua Kristi

January said...

While that's a valid reason, it's not my main motivation. The kids will learn how to swim, but I need to do it for me first.

phobean said...

Despite the fact that I'm a non-firm believer in the stereotype "black people don't swim", I took swim lessons with David last year at Cambridge Center for Adult Ed. Four sets of lessons later, and I still can't crawl very well, but I've learned a mean backstroke. I backstroked in a lake last year and found that I could travel well enough, taking breaks to check in on my surroundings to make sure I wouldn't bump into a raft or anything.

I believe you can learn, too, even if you end up learning something different than what you initially intended!

January said...

"I believe you can learn, too, even if you end up learning something different than what you initially intended!"

Thanks Pho! I'll keep that in mind.

FYI, I am living proof of that stereotype. No one in my family swims, and I grew up near the beach!

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