Above water

So I went swimming Friday.

Those who know me are laughingly aware of the fact that I don’t actually know how to swim. I never learned, despite growing up with a pool in the backyard.

I can tread water like a champ, though.

That said, I need a cross-training exercise. I can’t ride a bike, I don’t like stair-climbers, and I haven’t yet pinned down a consistent racquetball partner.

So why not do the one activity that, with my lack of knowledge, can actually kill me?

To die will be an awfully big adventure.

So, to the Oliver Bath House, which in itself is appealing because of its history. Public pools, however, are much like the county fair: the bring out some interesting subsets of society. Yikes.

Swimming and, in turn, drowning, are cliche yet strong metaphors, I think.

Kind of like how the rest of the world learned how to swim and I didn’t. Or, at least, that’s how it seems. Constantly treading water and struggling to stay afloat — to keep my head above water — while everyone else leisurely coasts by.

It’s incredibly frustrating and absolutely terrifying.

Sometimes people don’t help out for fear you’ll pull them under. Sometimes you don’t accept help for the same reason.

Sometimes people promise they’ll teach you to swim and then leave you treading water.

Sometimes you find yourself at Oliver Bath House feeling like your legs are made of lead and oh my god, I’m never going to walk again and “low-impact” my foot.

But I swam laps for half an hour on Friday, and no one ever taught me how.

Treading water is all well and good, and it keeps you above water and, thus, alive, but moving forward is a lot more fun, I think.