Dear Readers, I did not completely forget to write in this space — I’ve just been a little busy is all… With what, you ask? Accomplishing a huge lifetime achievement is what!
As I believe I’ve already made evident, I am into my third decade of living. One would hope by that point in life that certain basics in life have been did and done, like your first paycheck, a first kiss, travelling solo. I’d done all that, but alas, for me, there was one giant gaping hole which had plagued me for a long time — that was my inability to swim!
It’s not uncommon for a born and bred New Yorker to not know how to swim, however. I would say there are 3 basic “life skills” that many NYers lack — that’s riding a bicycle, driving, and swimming. I was proud to have 2 of 3 down, but not knowing how to swim really did bother me. I probably could do without the first two (I’d just be heavily reliant on my Metrocard), but swim is a life skill that could indeed save your life!
Mom had put me through two rounds of Pollywog at the YMCA, and both times, my sister and I failed. I didn’t feel all that guilty. Truth be told, it was just a horrible place to try to learn. I was already pretty far along in adolescence, so being jammed into a crowded pool with a bunch of 9-11 year olds, and presumably pee water, was not encouraging.
Then in college, I was required to at least attempt to learn in a PE class, if not pass a swim test. Where the baseball coach was teaching the class out of duty rather than desire, never even stepping foot in the pool, I could hardly figure it out, and of course failed to learn again (though somehow that counted as a “pass” for the purposes of the class).
Fast forward another 10 or so years, and I’m in Hong Kong, trying to learn at a class offered for free by some very well-meaning volunteers. I was very hopefuly this time that my efforts would pay off with such patient teachers, but alas, nothing free lasts forever, and the class was quickly ended. I tried to look into private lessons, but I suppose my hate for water sports always got in the way.
I also admit, that when I was roughing out with attempt after failed attempt to secure a meaningful job, I did promise myself that if there was one thing I should accomplish before leaving Hong Kong — it was to learn to swim!
And here we are in 2012 – when the Law Society offered some very inexpensive lessons at roughly $8 a class, I decided I should just try again. What I found in 7 x 1-hour lessons was the breast stroke, and a lot less loathing for water!
The day I was finally able to swim across the 25 m pool, I was smiling so much and beaming with so much joy, I found it so hard not to feel happiness! It was a real accomplishment to finally attain this potentially life-saving skill.
I told the instructor that it wasn’t me who should be proud, but really her! I really am grateful for all her patience and time. Learning to swim as an adult is no easy feat, but I am certain teaching an adult to swim is much harder!
So now that that’s done, what can I do next to top that??