First off, when I awoke 30 mins late, I did not, in some heroic dash of adrenaline and panic, overcome my initial delay. No, I simply arrived late. When I finally got to the pool my friend Kathy was already in the water, looking haggard and slightly panicked. I rushed in, threw on my goggles and joined her. Danny was very welcoming and seemed to let my tardiness roll right off, which should have been my first red flag. He smiled, said he was glad I was there and promised we would take it slow (second red flag). I was relieved because slow was EXACTLY how I wanted to take my first swim lesson in over 20 years. Then he said we would start by learning to blow bubbles.
Danny informed me that this is how he started all his classes when he was teaching little kids to swim.
Gee… thanks. My ego’s protest however, was quickly silenced. Did he say bubbles? I could totally do bubbles! My limbic system was ecstatic, and I was almost completely confident that I would not die while blowing bubbles. Excellent!
For the next 5 min it was: deep breath, head under the water, blow steadily out through my nose, head out of water, repeat.
Got to tell you, I rocked it! Total natural.
Next was kicks off the wall. I got to use my new bubble breathing skills and kick with both feet off the wall and glide for a long as I could. BTW, I'm also amazing at kicking off the wall. Just saying, this lesson was going great!
Then, Danny had the brilliant idea that we should kick off the wall and swim freestyle to the other side of the pool. And, this is where my lofty self-image of swimming grandeur crashed back to earth. If you remember back to my last post, I had swum 25 yards before… in a pool… and nearly died. Somehow, I didn’t feel that my bubbles and wall kicks were going to improve things all THAT much. But ok, here we go.
I took a deep breath, kicked off the wall, and swam (i.e. flapped like an injured bird) across the pool. On the other side, I stood up, sputtered, panted and gasped for air. Danny immediately said, ok let’s do that again! 3, 2, 1, go! Off I went, injured wing and all, eventually reached the other side, stood up, gasped, sputtered and… was hit by one of the worst panic attacks I had had in years.
To be continued...