Swimming Purgatory.

This Isn't Good.

My swimming lessons are over.

I bring this up because so many people ask me how they are going (although not nearly as many as ask about Buddy the Dog).

The good news is I didn’t drown.

The bad news is I can still only partially swim.

Unfortunately, being able to partially swim doesn’t really help when you are in a drowning situation.

In fact, it may be worse than not being able to swim at all.

Before I started taking lessons, I would simply get in a pool and sink to the bottom.

Quick and painless.

No harm.  No foul.

The end wouldn’t take long.

I could go in peace.

Now, if I get in a pool I don’t sink to the bottom nearly as quickly.

Because now I know the proper technique to swim.

I have a faint understanding of what to do with my hands, arms, shoulders, legs, back, head, and breathing (it isn’t easy "not-swimming" when you are thinking about 117 different things).

Sadly, I can’t implement all of these techniques for an extended period of time.

Which means if I’m drowning, I will swim roughly 20 yards AND then sink like a rock.

I’m no rocket scientist, but I’m not sure if I got my money’s worth out of these lessons.

My teacher said if I was in a boat and it capsized I would be fine.

She said adrenaline would take over and I would be amazed by how well I could swim.

She might be right.

Especially, if I’m in the 3-foot end of the ocean and I have time to put on my swimming goggles (floaties wouldn’t hurt either).

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Not Fat Enough to Float.

People continue to ask me about 2 things:  how’s Buddy the Dog and have I learned to swim?

My answers:  spoiled/sleepy and no.

The dog needs his own fan club and I still sink like a rock

If you are scoring at home, I’ve completed 4 swim lessons.The Hungrier I Am, the Better I Will Float.  In Theory.

That’s 4 straight weeks in a pool.  This smashes my old record by… well, by 4 weeks.

The good news is my coach/teacher no longer has the mortified look on her face like she did the first time we met.

I wasn’t exactly what she was expecting when I came out of the locker room.

She seems to have moved past the fact that I’m approximately 4 decades older than most of her students.

And I don’t wear a diaper.

At least not yet.

The look on her face has transitioned from disturbed to disappointed.

She’s done her best to teach me how to swim.

Sadly, her best hasn’t been good enough.

I went into this thinking swimming would be easy.

You jump in the pool, you float, you flop around, and you swim.

How hard could it be?

Turns out it’s kinda hard.

Maybe it’s easy for most people.

Sadly, I’m not most people.

She does her best to coach me up before I take off for the bottom of the pool.

She tells me exactly what my head, hands, arms, stomach, hips, legs, and feet should be doing.

She’s very specific on what I should be doing with every part of my body.

Then she says just relax and sends me off (turns out drowning isn’t that peaceful of an act). 

I get about 10 feet away and I think… “I’m tired… time to sink.”

And I do.

But just to the bottom of the pool.

I always stop there.

She thinks I need to practice between lessons.

I would, but I don’t actually own a pool.

Since all I can do in a pool is sink, it’s never really seemed like that great of an investment.

She said it would also help if I was bigger.

I said “Taller people float easier?”

She responded “No, fat people do.”

I think I’ve found my sport.  My calling if you will.

Evidently, I will be able to swim if I get fatter.

Seems odd.  One would think that fat people would sink more quickly.

But she’s the coach.  Whatever she says goes.

Time to go practice by taking a couple laps past the refrigerator.

If I want to be a great swimmer, I’m going to have to pay the price.

And the price seems to be ice cream.

This blog is in no way making fun of people who have weight problems.  It is completely making fun of my inability to do what every small child in America (or the world) can… which is swim.

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There’s Old. Then There’s Me.

I’m taking swimming lessons.

That’s a lie.

I’m taking learn how not to drown lessons. This Kid Swims Like a Fish.  I Do Not.

I’ve been asked why I’m taking these classes.  This is an excellent question Captain Obvious.

I can’t swim.

Why can’t I swim?

Because I sink.

Why do I sink?

I’m not exactly sure, but I think it has something to do with my inability to swim.

People tell me I need to learn how to swim because it’s so much fun.

Not when you sink.

So after 42 years of avoiding canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, and cliff diving, I’ve decided it’s time to learn.

As I went to my first lesson, I was a little nervous but excited to fight for my life as my lungs filled up with water.

I anticipated a near death experience.  I’ve often wondered, do you actually go towards a bright light?

What I didn’t anticipate were the other students who would be learning to swim.

First, there were lots of them.  Probably close to 50 in a relatively small pool.  For some reason I thought there were be less at 8:00 pm on a school night.

Second, they were all wearing diapers (hence they probably didn’t have school the next morning).

For some reason it hadn’t occurred to me that I would be slightly older than the other students.

It certainly didn’t occur to me that I would be 4 decades older than the other students.

Yes, I said 4 decades (that’s 40 years if you are keeping score at home).

When I arrived at the pool, I went to the main desk and checked in (without my parents, like a big boy).  The nice girl running the swimming lessons told me to go change and come back and see her when I was ready (she also asked me what life was like in the 1980’s).

After changing into my drowning trunks, I had a little trouble finding the swim lady.  This was probably because she was in a huddle with all of the lifeguards.  They were obviously talking about someone.

And they were pointing.

At me.

She stopped laughing long enough to introduce me to my child-like swim instructor.

This young person stood in front of me with a look that can only be described as half-horror and half-confused.

Just to take a shot in the dark, I asked her if I was the oldest student she’s ever taught.

Her response… yes by FAR!.

Let the drowning (and public humiliation) begin.

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