Wednesday, September 22, 2010

4 Stories... Swimming!

Encouraged by this post at Freckled Nest, I've found the perfect excuse to  prattle on a bit. This week is insane, so here's to clearing my mind and focusing on something a little less serious than my week so far. As the title suggests today I am going to share 4 stories, about swimming. And about me.

1. Technical Difficulties... I loved swimming as a kid. I learnt the basic ability of keeping my head above water and paddling, and that was nice. But then came the compulsory school swimming lessons. It took me 3 Summers to pass level 4. The level where you learn freestyle. My ears seemed to be incredibly susceptible to filling with water, in quite the uncomfortable fashion. Ear-plugs didn't work for me, but I finally discovered that blu-tac is the ultimate when it comes to plugging your ears against water. And just like that, I passed level 4. I still hated swimming lessons though.

2. The Fear, Part 1... When I was 12, my best friend and I were playing with a ball in my backyard. We threw it a bit hard, and it sailed over the pool fence and landed smack in the pool. Now, let me paint you a picture. It was Winter. The pool was green and faintly murky. I was wearing big heavy denim overalls and knee-high gumboots. Can you see where this is going...? I leaned over to snatch the ball, and my somewhat cheeky friend (ridden with guilt over this incident for the rest of our days as high schoolers!) gave me a little push, and in I toppled. I don't actually remember what happened between that moment and getting pulled out of the water on the other side. I went into shock before I even hit the water, and blacked out. Yep

3. Face to face! I always loved being in the water on our family trips to the river. I was always super curious about marine life. I'd go out there as deep as I could with my little butterfly net, and I'd come back with tiny fish, baby prawns, star fish, and on one particularly exciting trip my sisters and I found a handful of these long, thin seahorse-like creatures, clinging to wayward bits of seaweed. One Summer evening, I was on the shore, eating dinner with my family, and we noticed a pod of dolphins out in front of us. Without thinking, I raced to the water, splashing to catch the dolphins' attention, hoping to get them to come in closer. It wasn't something I was expecting to happen, but suddenly one dolphin changed direction and started heading straight towards me. As it got closer, I realised just how big the thing was, and I... panicked! I fled out of the water as quickly as I could.

4. The Fear, Part 2... Remember story #2? Shortly after that ordeal, I had a bit of a fear of sticking my head under the water. It didn't last long, but by the time Summer came around, I realised that compulsory swimming lessons would be starting up again at school. The week before the lessons were due to start, I quietly asked to see my PE teacher in her office after class. As soon as we got there, I opened my mouth and burst into tears! Between sobs, I told her about 'the incident', and cried that I was now too afraid to swim. I'm here to admit right now, that was an act. I wasn't scared. I just freaking hated swimming lessons. My teacher, bless her, was incredibly understanding and excused me until I was ready. So for the rest of that school term, while my fellow students were in swimming lessons, I was sent to regularly scheduled appointments with the school counsellor to deal with my 'fear'. At the end of term, she suggested that I give it a go once again, get in the water with my class mates. This is where it got kind of embarrassing. Everybody watched nervously as I clambered down the pool steps and paddled a bit. The teacher called out "Try putting your head under water, Klara!" and, as my well-meaning classmates cheered me on, I 'faced my fear'.

And so ends installment #1 of 4 Stories!

1 comment:

Megan V said...

Your stories are so great!! Your last story reminds me a bit of one of mine! :) Lying to get out of swimming class...

Isn't it funny that kids always seem to want to attract an animal's attention but NEVER think about what they'd do if the animal actually approached them? Hehehe.

Your stories are great and I can't wait until the next topic! Stop by and read mine if you wish :)