(I confess I'm posting on Wednesday.)
Ella and I went swimming tonight (technically, last night). Those who know me know I am not a strong swimmer. I tell people that in an emergency, I could save myself but not anyone else. Fortunately, my kids are part fish--especially Ella, whose legs are sticking out of the water in the photo.
This year, I am trying get more comfortable in the water, so our plan is to go to the Y pool once a week while Alex, my son, is at basketball practice. Well, last night all of the shallow lanes were in use for the youth synchronized swim team--they literally looked like a school of fish bobbing in unison. Ella and I swam in the deep end. As soon as I jumped in to the 7' lane, I knew I still had a long way to go to be completely comfortable in water.
Nothing bad happened. I didn't struggle or drown, but I also didn't swim freestyle. And it was clear I can't dog-paddle. I'm most comfortable swimming on my back, but the thought of 1) not being able to see underwater (won't open my eyes) and 2) not being able to touch the bottom made me feel vulnerable and downright foolish. But we stayed. I swam with a kick board most of the time while my daughter swam freestyle in the 10' lane like a champ.
Now, I've always lived by the water. Can't imagine living without water to my left. But, I carry those stereotypical fears that African-Americans have about swimming. I'm glad my kids don't have the same hangups.
Ella and I will be back at the pool next week. She loves it and doesn't mind swimming in winter. There are enough YouTube videos for me to learn a basic stroke and practice in the pool. Each time I'm in the water, I get a little more comfortable working muscles that never see the light of day. Here's hoping that by years end, I'm able to swim freestyle to the other side.