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I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

* The Time HAS Come To Be a Woman: Swimming Lessons




Anyone who knows me (and not even very well) knows that I am an INDOOR girl..heat, the great outdoors, sports are all very unnecessary if you ask me. So when I came home one day and asked my daddy if I could go to Grenada Lake and ride in a boat with a friend, he looked at me like I had abandoned all reason. "I would promise to wear one of those horrible huge orange life jackets. I wouldn't put my hand out of the boat into the water." I just wanted to be like everybody else and go to the lake and ride in the boat while my friend skiied. "Absolutely not," was the answer, "UNLESS you learn to swim." Here we go again. The mandate. Learn how to swim...why? If anything happened I had the large life jacket. It would hold me up until help arrived. "No."


So my friend, Martha Ray (who also wanted to go in the boat), and I got signed up for swimming lessons at the Grenada City Pool. That's how it all started. A simple request. Five days of Red Cross lessons with a "graduation" on Friday. The first day started well. We sat on the edge of the pool with our legs dangling in the water. Then things got dangerous. We had to get into the shallow end. Everyone else jumped in, but MR and I went cautiously down the steps. I've never seen so many children. How could they keep up with all of us? Would they know that #455 didn't come up when she went under?

For at least 20 minutes we practiced letting our faces touch the water..."No!" the lifeguard shouted at me, "not the side of your face, the front!" What?! That means my nose has to be under the water..this will never do. But after some coaxing, MR and I did it! Not once, but several times. I was trying to figure out how to do all this without getting my hair wet..another story for another time. Then we learned to hold on to the side and kick our feet. That was pretty fun...really rather lame...what's so hard about swimming? After our first lesson we excitedly flipflopped our way to the car. We had a great time! Why by tomorrow we'd be swimming all over the place!

Day two was more difficult. We did the jellyroll by grabbing our ankles and putting our faces in the water and "floating". I really can't explain how we made it through that, but we seemed to do pretty well. It all seems like a dream now. Then we learned to do the Australian Crawl...except we were supposed to be kicking our feet and crawling with our arms at the same time. Ha! Are they serious? MR and I tiptoed on the very tips of our toes and just did the arm motions. Why we looked like swans. We were flawless!

Day three passed. Still tiptoeing and crawling. Day four was our Waterloo. We arrived, removed our sunglasses, flipflops, folded our towels..anything to put off what was coming next. We were "whistled" to the middle of the pool on the concrete edge. Now I'm no mathematician but I know a 6 when I see it and it plainly said 6 FEET. I quickly calculated that I was about 4 feet tall. This meant No tiptoes today. The lifeguard (who was very cute, I must add) whistled for all 500 of us to jump in. Huge splash. Only two were left standing on the side...MR and me. We preferred the ladder, if that was ok. (We were pretty high maintenance even at age 10. ) We both hung on to the side of the pool for dear life...literally. When everyone else pushed off and began dog paddling, we both promptly sank to the bottom and had to be pulled out.

The two of us got some one on one time with an instructor and by graduation time (Friday) we did reasonably well...well enough to get our Beginner's card. But still not good enough to go boating!! I think my daddy and MR's daddy ganged up on us there.

Lessons learned:

1. When there is a choice between life and death, you better not tiptoe around.

2. If you are going to swim, you eventually HAVE to get your hair wet...it's ok, it dries.

3. You can fool some of the lifeguards some of the time, but not all the lifeguards all of the time!



14 comments:

Donna said...

HYSTERICAL!! And very well written! (I, too, took swimming lessons at the Grenada City Pool. The only fond memories I have with all that was the Zero bar I got at the end of each session! Hahaha!)

Angela McInnis said...

Ah, yes the Zero's. Weren't they kept in a cooler so they wouldn't melt? Now that's what swimming should be about, the dessert at the end of the struggle.

wifey singer said...

This was such a fun read! YOU are hilarious! Sounds like you were quite the little girl. I never had lessons, my "godmother" taught me. And by taught, I mean she tossed me into the deep end and I instinctively began to dog paddle myself to safety. She said, "see, you CAN swim!" Ha!

Anonymous said...

I remember swimming lessons too. I didn't like water in my face or being over my head. I don't think I made it to the end of the week. Finally learned to float about 30 years ago -- but only in the part of the pool that is not over my head -- just not much confidence there. Julie

Angela McInnis said...

I'm with ya, Anonymous! A water nymph, I am NOT!

Anonymous said...

A lot of us must have taken those same swimming lessons! I did learn to swim and love it. I enjoyed all your blog stories and your art is gorgeous.

Angela McInnis said...

thank you very much, Anonymous! I think we really had the "Scared of the Water Sisterhood". Nobody wanted to talk about it...until now!

leigh said...

Oh my as a former swimming instructor I have laughed myself to death!! Thanks for the laughs.

Angela McInnis said...

Well, Leigh I am glad you had a laugh today! Terrorizors OF Little Girls is what lifeguards should be called!! No, it's a rough job and somebody has to do it! And because of them I CAN swim...just not like a fish..

Greer said...

I never had forgotten that ya'll couldn't swim--I got my beginner's when I was 6 and got my intermediate when I was 9 or 10--probably the only thing that I ever excelled in--but I did love the water--still do! By the way I was the friend that wanted you to go to the lake for the boat ride--you did finally make it!!

CINDY said...

I'M STILL LAUGHING..WELL DID YOU EVER LEARN TO SWIM???? AFTER YOU GOT OLDER...LOL..KEEP THE STORIES COMING..LOVE THEM..

Angela McInnis said...

Thank you, wifey singer; Greer, after all these years I didn't think you'd still be rubbing it in; Cindy, I can dogpaddle pretty well. Enough to keep me afloat..which is no small task...

Steph said...

I remember that city pool. I took swimming lessons there from Diana Dubard.

Angela McInnis said...

Quite different, Stephanie, from the ones that had a thousand children frantically splashing and kicking all over the place. Oh, for private lessons!!