I can’t swim. I have an excuse now, being disabled, though I have spent time in a pool recently for physical therapy, but as far as swimming is concerned, I can’t.
I sort of could when I was younger. I could get in the water and more or less propel myself through it, and I had no trouble playing in the water, but by the time I reached high school, forget it. We had swimming in sophomore year, and on the first day they asked us to jump into the deep end of the pool and swim to the other end. I didn’t make it; they had to pull me out, fortunately before I needed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. At the end of that class, they split us into four groups: Dolphins, Sharks, Tunas, and my group, the Anchors.
I didn’t feel too bad about it: a few players from the football squad were Anchors as well. They’re good to know sometimes.
Fortunately, in junior and senior year, we got to choose what PE activity we wanted to do for two months, and any time swimming was offered, I didn’t take it. I usually took hiking with the head of the PE department, who looked a lot like Fred Flintstone.
One time, my family had a picnic at the home of one of my second cousins (or cousins once removed; I can never get that straight). They had a pool, which of course I didn’t go into. My grandfather, who was a fairly good athlete in his day, swam for a while, then got out and wouldn’t go back in. “All those kids have been in there all day, and not one has gotten out to go to the bathroom” was his explanation.
I’ve been in several pools since then, not so much to swim as to enjoy the water. My knees have been bad for a while, and walking around in a pool is good, because it takes some of the stress off of them. My company had one of their annual midterm meetings years ago. The first day was one of the typical boozefests, and naturally we were all feeling a little rough the next day. The facility where we had the meeting had a pool, though, and I found that standing neck-deep in the water was very good for a hangover.
Once when I was traveling, it was miserable, hot and humid, and I decided to take advantage of the pool at the hotel. Which reminds me of this….
Naturally, I just stood in there; I didn’t swim.