Friday, July 18, 2008


As a boy of about 7 or 8, my mom wanted me to learn how to swim, so signed me up for a swimming class at the Y. I had several classes over many weeks with a number of other similarly-aged youngsters. I learned some of the basics, but hadn't fully grasped how to swim by the time we had our last day of class.

On that fateful day, parents were allowed to come and see what their children had learned (my mom came to see me on this day). The better swimmers did laps near the middle of the pool while I, being just a novice, hung close to the side of the pool so that I could easily grab the sidebar for support. We had at least a couple instructors who were in the pool with us at all times.

On one lap, I got too far away from the side of the pool and felt like I was about to drown. I desperately tried to tread water, but was starting to panic. I looked up at my mom. She appeared to be looking elsewhere. None of the instructors was looking my way. With water in my mouth, I couldn't yell or scream. After what seemed like an eternity, one of the instructors finally came to my aid and said she was sorry she had forgotten me.

Several years later, I had swimming class in junior high, but still didn't fully learn how to swim. To this day, I still don't.


Rocketstar said...

almost drowning, horrible, sorry dude.

Thomas said...

I'm over it now, but thanks for the kind words, Rocket. I recently sent this post to my mom in an email (I'd never told her about it before) and she said she was sorry that it had happened. She also agreed to sign me up for swimming lessons. :P

Anonymous said...

If you lived closer to NY I would offer to teach you how to swim.

Thomas said...

Thanks for the offer, Sil. :)

Timothy Smith said...

I had all kinds of swimming lessons growing up but it never took. I think its mostly a mental thing. While on a vacation driving from MN to OR we stopped at a hotel in Montana. I saw a water slide and climbed up and down I went. This pool was clearly marked as being 8 feet but I guess the slide had me to excited to notice. I think I was 12 at the time.

I learned to tread water instantly. I went on to become an average swimmer.

You always hear stories of parents chucking their kids into the pool to learn how to swim the hard way. I guess I chucked myself into the deep end by accident. It worked but I do not recommend it. Very scary 20 seconds!