the dog days of summer

A couple of months ago Seraph hooked me up with some swimming lessons at the city recreation complex a block away from where she works. She was tired of hearing me think about doing it. I took the lessons with a few goals in mind. First, I needed to make sure I could not drown. This was fairly simple as I already knew the basics. Second, I wanted to front crawl with my head in the water. I never learned the whole pulling your face to one side while in the midst of a stroke thing. Third, I wanted to be a strong enough swimmer that if I wanted to swim to an island in the middle of a lake one day I could.

My first lesson was a disaster. I spent the entire drive over getting completely worked up and nervous. I finally settled down, changed, showered, walked to the pool, and promptly had to do everything in reverse because some kid threw up in the water. The next five weeks went well. I learned the breast stroke in the last ten minutes of one lesson and had it working well by the next one. My back stroke was fine. The last half hour of the last lesson made it all worth while. I figured out what was wrong with my front crawl. My elbow pulled to close to the water. I was swamping myself every time I went to breathe.

Now? I’m up to half a kilometer (20 laps) a night. Last night I even alternated breast and front crawl for the last half. I’m slowly building my way up.

It’s nice to have something to do with Seraph (who could swim since she was born I swear). It’s also nice to not be afraid in the water. I’ve even been having, dare I say it, fun. I’m putting on body mass. My shoulders and chest are becoming huge. That’s a nice touch. I’ve always felt insecure with such a skinny frame. Now I get to fill it out. I’m rather enjoying what I see in the mirror these days.