03 October 2014

Doggie Paddling Along

As in my last post I mentioned the weather let me tell you it's way too cold for my liking right now. The rest of the country is used to these temperatures but Texas is not. Well goodbye Summer, hey Fall. Since it's been cold, I've decided to take swim lessons because no better time to learn to swim than during low temperatures and windy days. Let me tell you about my adventures in the water or as I like to call them "near death experiences".

I know, I am a 35 year old woman who cannot swim or float. Well the latter has improved, I can now float. Everyone says the same thing to me, floating is so easy. No. It. Is. Not. At least not for a control freak such as myself. Now when I say I can float I mean I need a floaty thingy to do the dead man float. Floating on my back, no way in hell that I'm doing that without someone holding me up, even though I don't really need them to hold me but my crazy brain says, "AHHHHHHHHHHH". Then I feel like I'm going to drown and I start flailing around like a fish out of water. Irony? I have been practicing on my own but I'm not going to lie, I am not enjoying something that could be a vital skill for my survival. You know because climate change and the poles melting and all. True story, oceans are rising and climate change is real. Science aside, I thought it might be fun to be able to hang out in the water with friends during the summer, instead of on the side of the pool eying the water with great caution and my friends with envy. I have had 2 lessons, this Sunday is the 3rd and last lesson. I think I may have to pay for several more lessons.

How I feel.
When I first signed up for my lessons I forgot to specify male/female instructor preference. I ended up with a male instructor. Men who stumble upon this post - some females also - will think, so what? Let me tell you what. For women it can be uncomfortable and a little scary to be in a position where a man has control over our ability to breathe, whole drowning thing. Also, we all know I have issues with how I perceive my weight and body, if you didn't know now you do. These are things many women think and feel on a daily basis. Do I want a random male stranger touching me in a what I consider a very intimate manner? Remember you are in a bathing suit and are being touched by a man you don't know and have body issues. How would you feel? Even if you don't have body issues, women are taught from a young age to be wary and careful with men because as the media likes to point out they are all animals with no self control and may at any point in time assault you for no logical reason. School dress codes enforce rules for young girls so they don't tempt boys into assault. We are taught to walk in groups at night because a woman walking alone at night is worthy of assault. What does all this have to do with swimming? I was a little uncomfortable at first with the idea of a male instructor. I am glad I didn't change my instructor because he has been great and very patient! This is not a "see-not-all-men-are-animals-without-any-self-control" post, no this a feminist rant about how we need to teach our children to learn to trust each other, male or female.  Feminism, good for everyone not just the body

Back to the point and the lessons learned here. I have a deep-seated fear of water. I need to let go of my fear of having my body judged by others - male or female. Also that it's a little embarrassing when the 4 year old swims past me. 


  1. Good for you learning to swim. I went for a couple days a week for a few weeks when I learned. Floating does not come natural for me.
    Some folks start the little ones young.

    1. I wish the floating came easier but it freaks me out :)

  2. Congratulations on taking the first plunge - on your way to swimming free! It's such an important life skill - at least in my opinion. Soon, you'll be floating without thinking twice about it.

    1. So true! I hope I'll be floating soon too, it's a little embarrassing when the 4 yo swims past me :)