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 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.