Swimming. . . A Gift for Life!

Date:  Dec 02-2005

            I remember my first swimming lessons. My sister taught me how to swim in our neighbor’s backyard pool. I started by pushing off the steps into her waiting arms, then I graduated to swimming between her and her friend. It was a little scarey, but it was also thrilling and exciting. I was finally going to be able to play with the big kids, and my mother was finally going to let me go to play at my other friends’ homes who had pools in their yards. My parents put in a pool when I was 6, and I spent countless hours in the summer having underwater tea parties, doing summersaults, and practicing my ballet in the water. It was more fun with a friend, but I would have spent the summers in the pool alone, if I had to. I always loved the water and still do. I know that’s because I learned how to swim with a patient, loving teacher, who inspired me to try harder, and convinced me of my safety.
            By contrast, my brother learned how to swim from my parents. My mom threw my screaming brother into the pool where my dad waited with open arms for my brother to struggle over to him. They kept repeating this until he was successful. My brother eventually became an excellent swimmer, even attaining merit badges and his Eagle Scout, but he never enjoyed the water and still doesn’t. He can certainly do what he needs to do and is quite competent, but I’m sure his initial experience lived on in his psyche every time he touched water.
            Swimming is a skill that we can enjoy from our first breath to our last. It is truly a lifelong sport. It is good for us and immensely enjoyable, not to mention all the water sports and social activities in Southern California. Swimming is a Gift, a Gift for Life!By Helen Ramos

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