Writer’s Workshop: (Not) Swimming

Not me. Image by skeeze from Pixabay

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.

Image by schneich from Pixabay

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.

16 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: (Not) Swimming

  1. I can’t swim either, couldn’t learn. My legs aren’t quite put on right so I could never kick right. I would have been an anchor, too. I had no idea standing neck-deep in water is good for a hangover. I’ll remember that.

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    1. I’m not sure it’s a scientifically-proven fact that standing neck-deep in water helps with a hangover, although since drinking tends to dry you out, it might have some benefit. All I can say for sure is that it seemed to help me a lot.

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  2. Used to swim a lot during the summers when my mom’s apartment complex still had a pool. The kids loved it and it was good exercise for me. Not so much in high school though. Not that the actual swimming part bothered me just the having to change and then having wet hair…girl stuff.

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  3. Funny about the bathroom…

    I can swim, though I’m not strong, so I am wary of the ocean. What always freaked me out was diving… i tried to learn, and i did it a few times as a teen, but there’s something just too terrifying to me about going in that way. I’m the toe at a time type…

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  4. Not a swimmer here, either. Always wanted to but, being an only child and growing up with a mother who would constantly remind me that “if you go into the water past your knees, you’ll drown!” or…everyone’s other favorite, “if you go into the water after you eat, you’ll drown!”.

    That kind of sticks with a person all through life.

    Thank goodness that I had my children in the pool, for lessons very early on. And yes, I stood off to the side, having quiet anxiety attacks during each lesson and while watching them go off the diving board.

    Oddly enough, I have no fear of being on the water, in a large vessel, with either swimmies or a life jacket. Or both…

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  5. Fun post and I did not realize the pool could help a hangover (.drinking a glass of baking soda water helps too) and the Jim gaffigan pool snippet fit so well.
    He was just in our city on his tour but I had to pass on going – not feeling well that day – so my son used my ticket

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    1. Drinking dehydrates you, so the water’s good (whether drinking it or soaking in it), and the sodium is an electrolyte, another thing drinking depletes. Plus, baking soda in water is great for stomach upset. A triple bonus!

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      1. Oh I am
        So happy you know about the value of the baking soda (and maybe know about it way more than me! I follow dr sircus and he has some great stuff) and just last night I had a huge glass of baking soda water with fresh lemon juice 🍋 squeezed in it. Was not hungover from drinking – just from the heat and a busy few days!!
        And the swim group called the anchors sticks with me – hm

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  6. Jim Gaffigan is hilarious, loved that clip of his take on the indoor pool! lol! And you had way cooler activities to choose from than I did in high school. There was no swimming and certainly not any hiking. That sounds fun!

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    1. Hiking was basically a walk around campus (our campus was on three or four acres, so that was a pretty substantial walk). It was a riot: the teacher was a real character. If you showed up, you got an A. About the only time I enjoyed gym class.

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