In the swim

The other day I took my daughter to the swimming pool. We stayed in the small, splashy-fun pool, but I could see (and, more importantly, hear) the main pool.

I hate swimming pools. I always have. I didn’t learn to swim until I was 12, and I’m still a fairly weak swimmer now. Before that, swimming lessons at school were mostly exercises in humiliation, as I bobbed about squeezed into various flotation aids, clinging to the side of the pool, watching enviously as the rest of the class dove and darted through the water like minnows.

Even now the blueish light, smell and taste of chlorine, slippery surface underfoot, sharp sounds of shouts and laughter echoing off the hard walls and floor make me slightly nervous. The sea, whose uneven bed makes it easy to slip out of your depth, and whose currents can suck you backwards and downwards to a salty grave paradoxically feels safer and less threatening to me than the cold, antiseptic surroundings of the pool.

Besides, you’re less likely to find a corn paster floating in the open sea.

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6 thoughts on “In the swim

  1. jane June 3, 2008 / 3:39 pm

    Dude. I am a few weeks shy of 38 and don’t know how to swim. It started out as a “I thought you were taking her to swimming lessons.” thing with my parents and has developed into a fairly healthy fear of large, seemingly-bottomless bodies of water.

    That being said, pools freak me out the most. I don’t know why.

    I should learn how to swim.

    Like

  2. simonlitton June 3, 2008 / 7:13 pm

    If you have a fear of seemingly-bottomless bodies of water, you probably don’t want to go here . Brussels is home to the world’s deepest swimming pool…

    Like

  3. V-Grrrl June 4, 2008 / 1:34 am

    My brother attended an all male university and graduates were required to pass a physical fitness test that included swimming.

    He was a terrible swimmer and had to take a class which he called Drowning 101.

    The irony? He has a waterfront home, a wife who kayaks, and two kids who were on swim teams!

    Like

  4. Jim June 4, 2008 / 2:59 pm

    You may not find a corn plaster floating past but I have seen a poo before – give me a swimming pool anytime!

    Like

  5. BOSSY June 5, 2008 / 3:38 pm

    Oy. Bossy is never going to enter a swim club again. Well, at least not until this saturday.

    Like

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