I’ve spent a lot of time in the water, and in 33 years I’ve managed not to drown. Last week, however, I learned that I have no idea how to actually swim.
One of the main summer activities in our small little town is swimming. My daughter is in the swim club, many of her friends are part of swim club, and now I’m part of the essentially geriatric version of the swim club.
I hopped into the water on day one feeling like I could swim. It took roughly 5 minutes to realize I’d been deluding myself for years.
The task: kick.
|This is not me, this is my daughter who can actually|
Really? That’s it. Grab a floating kick board and do 2 lengths of the pool just kicking. I can do that.
Nope. I can’t do that. I could kick until the cows came home (which from the last post we know they are reticent about doing), but I didn’t move.
Everyone passed me. It was like the nightmare where no matter how fast you run, you can’t seem to get away. Like that, but in the water. I think tidal movement would have been a more effective means of water travel.
It finally got to the point where the coach told me to put on flippers.
We were then split into lanes and progressed from there. It became significantly easier once we could incorporate arms into the circus. I was finally able to traverse a length or two of the pool.
Even still, our lane was usually asked to do 50 meters, whereas the other lane was doing 100. Myself and my lane partner decided that we’d been relegated to the remedial swim lane.
I’ve been swimming (or what I thought was swimming) for years, but I don’t remember ever just having to kick. It never occurred to me to try, and I certainly didn’t imagine that I would be useless to the point of drowning while doing it.
I think part of the problem is that I have ape-like arms that are longer than I am tall, but I have freakishly narrow feet. The arm length makes strokes easier and more powerful, hence the not drowning for years, however the infuriatingly narrow feet create the impression of trying to swim using gyrating chopsticks. They are weird. My toes don’t even lay flat. The middle ones sort of jumble up on top of one another. Makes manicures very hard. As a plus, it does make cramming my feet into Cinderella-esque shoes much easier, but mostly it’s just weird.
I’m thinking that maybe next week I can focus on floating. I can float, right?