Sliding down the wall gets old…

Growing up I was like every other kid, trying each and every sport to figure out which one appealed to me the most. Being the oldest of three with a little brother, I started off with football of course, developing a passion for it at an early stage. Second came basketball and then baseball and even track, but what I really was intrigued by was the water.  I loved the fact that you could swim on any day, at any time, and with no one around. See with sports like football, basketball and baseball, it isn’t as fun if you don’t have friends or people to play with. Swimming was different.

I grew up playing in the water with my brother and watching my nana swim all the time at her pool. When I was roughly five or six years old, I decided it was time to break the barrier of the shallow and deep end and learn how to swim and not just doggy paddle in the deep end occasionally.  I remember the day I learned how to swim like it was yesterday. We were at her community pool at her condo complex.  It wasn’t a huge pool, but considering not many families lived in condos, it was big enough for the residents that stayed there regularly. There weren’t many people at the pool that day, maybe five or so. My brother and I were the only kids in the pool most the time. It was a normal sunny summer day. I’m not sure why, but I just had the urge to learn how to swim, so I asked my nana if she would teach me how to swim. I remember bright as day her response, she was laying out reading a book, and she looked up and instantly smiled, put her book down and dove in the pool toward the deep end. She was more than happy to teach me, her first grandchild, a young grasshopper in the water, how to do something she loved so much.  I moved to the deep in, sliding down the wall of course,  with mind set on learning.

The pool from my Nana’s condo

The only words I remember her saying were “Just let go and swim, you’ll be fine I promise”. Being a kid, we all know it’s hard just to “let go” in such an abstract and challenging environment.  She came over and held me up though, teaching me how to float first. I recall very clearly going under a few times while trying to float on my back. Once I somewhat had a grasp of this, she taught me how to use my arms to stay afloat, while using my legs to “keep me moving” she said. I remember her floating on her back, beside me as I paddled away to try to get to the other side of the pool. Once I had made it, sure enough we went again, and again, and again. I give full credit to my nana for teaching me how to swim. After I had learned to swim, I was at her pool every weekend practicing. It didn’t take many weekend before I was a natural at it. Swimming is challenging, making it one of my favorite hobbies to this day.

After about 3 weeks of practice

After about 3 weeks of practice

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3 Responses to Sliding down the wall gets old…

  1. arodcinco55 says:

    I remember that same feeling of not wanting to not let go of the wall, only mine was in a different world, meaning on land when I was learning to do back handsprings. When first starting to try and make your body go backwards where you don’t know how it will turn out in the end, it’s hard to make the first move to get it started. In the end we all know that in order to get past the fear, according to nike, just do it!

  2. somerfaust says:

    “Just let go” is what I think I am saying a hundred times a day right now to my 3 year old. She is getting her confidence with jumping and swimming without having to hold someone’s hand. She is doing so well for her age she just doesn’t realize it yet. I don’t know why there is some kind of built in fear of the water. She is paranoid of sharks being in our backyard pool and even the bath tub. I think Daddy watches River Monsters with the girls when I’m not home.

  3. adavis22014 says:

    I don’t remember having trouble letting go. I remember being quite the ballsy child. My mom taught me to swim and she never said I had trouble getting used to the water or being afraid of it. I was confident when I was little, quite the “daredevil.” Hopefully, I will be the one to teach my children

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