Over the past few months my girlfriend has been teaching me how to swim, and just yesterday (4/7/2015) I found I can finally do it!
Why am I so excited as to blog about it?
I’d pretty much given up on it as a child. When I was about 6 I used to take swimming lessons with my school, but – as with a lot of practical skills – they stopped doing it. I never took it up again, not because I didn’t want to but because I just… let life go on.
(Same with cooking. My secondary school used to do it, but then they stopped. As far as I’m concerned it was early training for perpetual consumerhood)
My mother has a phobia of water. I never did, so when we used to go on holiday I always went in the water, but being unable to swim I just paddled, walked and splashed. I even tried doing my martial arts in the sea – didn’t work. I never managed to keep my balance.
Even riding a bike I never learned in my childhood.
Yep. I only learned to ride a bike on holiday in Egypt. I was 18. When I and my family came back I started getting into it, but then my ex-stepdad shouted at me for sitting too upright on the seat! For fuck’s sake! I was still learning, I didn’t have full balance yet! And I still don’t, I can’t really be bothered with yet another object to look after and repair.
(And he put me off with that remark. Asswipe.)
Learning to swim was a struggle. My girlfriend was getting annoyed how much I moaned that trying to float was pointless ’cause my legs don’t float. They still don’t. I’ve been saying for ages that I’m a bottom-heavy person, I always have to move my legs to stay afloat.
But at least now I don’t need the floats anymore so that’s fucking progress!
Just yesterday in the changing room, I was talking to a guy who’d been giving me tips throughout. I told him about my bottom-heavy body, and I was pleasantly surprised at his response – he said, “Of course. When you float you have to move your waist and legs.”
THANK FUCKING GOD!!! Finally, someone who explained that you can’t just stay still on the water!!!
At the moment regarding swimming I’m still learning some fine points:
- how to turn my whole upper body in the water and inhale fast enough so I don’t have to crane my neck up for air,
- how to breathe so I don’t keep getting water going down my nose and mouth*,
- how to keep my legs kicking for longer ’cause they get tired really quickly (or is that from the workouts I always do beforehand?).
* This became an issue yesterday, as one of the lifeguards told me not to spit because people were complaining. So what am I supposed to do? I’m not a bloodclaat fish, I can’t breathe water. He seemed too dumb to get that it was the water in my nose and throat making me spit. Somehow he thought I had a cold or hay fever or something. Besides, I always spit in the drain around the pool not in the water itself, then use the water to wash the phlegm down. Is it more hygienic to spit in the pool or the drain? Common sense.