Tag Archives: swimming

What I’ve Learned in Swim Class

 

How to swim (or, what I’ve learned in swim class):

 

Keep your head below water.

Be a fish. You love the water.

It’s fun to pull yourself through water. It’s like thick air. It’s like Jell-O.

Breathing is overrated and unnecessary.

Keep your goddamn head below water.

Pear-shaped people have a built-in pull buoy.

Make sure your swimsuit can handle your awkward maneuvers. Otherwise it might fall apart while you’re swimming, and then you’ll have to play it cool while diving for the lost strap.

Don’t stare at the instructor’s aging aquatic mammal body. One day you too will look this strange.

Feel the water with your forearms.

Aim your hands for the center of your fish line.

Keep your damn head below water.

Pull each stroke with your whole torso, not just your hands.

Think about every little motion.

But don’t think too much about it.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Outdoor exercise

 

We decided to go swimming.

Last day of summer! Let’s take advantage of this heat, we said.

So we went to the lake.

 

Nobody was in the water.

It was a cesspool.

Fluffy brown-streaked foam collected at the shore

Four feet wide.

As if the lake was a giant boiling cauldron of broth

But someone had neglected to skim the gathering proteins off the surface.

Or maybe the sand decided to have a shampoo

But passed out from the heat

Before it finished rinsing.

The lap lane ropes

Normally cordoning off the deepest area

Had desperately pulled themselves from their tethers

And morphed from a 50 yard rectangle

Into a pathetic oblong.

Even out deep,

The water was soggily crusted with dead insects, pollen,

And gray mysteries.

 

We looked at it

While summer’s warmth punched us repeatedly in the back of the head.

We decided to run instead.

 

We walked

We ran

We sweated.

The sun soldered our clothes to our skin.

The humidity held its slimy palms

Over our noses and mouths

As we miserably carried it

On an endless, sweaty piggyback ride.

 

Our reward, we decided,

Was an ice cream treat.

It melted so fast

We had to drink the last of it.

 

Sayonara, summer

You had your last hurrah

And my god

We’re ready for fall now.