Tag Archives: swimming

It ain’t all fun & games in the partie profonde*

I was an infant when my mom started taking me into the water.  I don’t remember ever not being able to swim, although it was sort of a freestyle doggy-paddle rather than anything proper.  My grandfather tried to sort me out one day in the summer, but alas, my swimming experiences in this life since that day have been almost exclusively recreational, so I never really mastered the coordination of it allFace in the water breathing out through the nose for one-two-three strokes, kicking legs almost-straight, toes pointed, arms digging, thumbs first, then face up to the side – inhale, face back in the water, breathing out…

We didn’t have a pool when I was little, and by the time we moved to a complex that did, all anybody my age was doing was sitting in the jacuzzi and occasionally diving into the deep end when nobody was looking.  In the summer, my friends and I would wake up early and board the bus before 7 to get to Huntington Beach as early as possible.  We’d snooze in the sand and talk trash to each other for the first twenty minutes or so, willing the water to warm up under the California sun.  I learned to dive into, jump over, and even catch waves with grace, and I could swim out so far my friends on the shore were indistinguishable from the other beach bums dotting the white sand.  But this wasn’t proper swimming.  It was playing.  I could swim, but I couldn’t really swim.

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