104 Days ’til 40: Swimming Memories

09 Nov


When I was a little child I was not so fond of swimming.  My mother tells stories of me fighting with the swim teacher and “bargaining” over what I would and would NOT do in the water.  I must have been 3, maybe 4 years old, at the time.  I was happy to splash around with my father in the pool, but I did not want to take lessons, particularly from a woman who wore clown face make-up (it was not her fault, she had to cover up from the sun and she tried to make it more fun, but it was really just scary looking).

Thankfully, I was able to overcome my dislike of the water.  In fact, I came to love being in the water and spending hours each day during the summer at our local swimming pool.  It was a wonderful way to spend the days and created so many great memories.  When I got older my parents forced me (yes, FORCED) to join the local swim team.  I grumbled along for a year or two and then suddenly discovered I was good (not great, but good).  It felt amazing as I developed swimming confidence.  It was the only sport that I did not completely suck at (pardon my expression, but it is true, I am not athletically inclined).


My coaches started to push me and, much to everyone’s surprise, my best stroke turned out to be Butterfly.  It was hard work – really hard work…. but I was good at it.  When I swam fly I felt as though I was literally flying across the pool – it was a great feeling.  (It was also a great feeling to beat boys when I swam the stroke!)  I did not have to win every time, however, even when I lost it was a wonderful outlet for me.

Sadly, I do not swim often anymore – the realities of life get in the way and we do not have easily accessible pools and, sadly, I do not make enough effort to go to the ones that are available.  I never seem to crave the water, yet is seems that only when I am lucky enough to be in it I realize just how much I missed it.

Today, 104 days ’til 40, I am thankful I grew up in California, where swimming pools abound and I was able to be in the water constantly.



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12 responses to “104 Days ’til 40: Swimming Memories

  1. saymber

    November 9, 2012 at 02:11

    I use to love swimming most of my life until I kind of became a hypocondriac (spelling?) and realized I was oftentimes swimming in other peoples “stuff” in addition to my own. I enjoy swimming in my father-in-laws pool in the summer – he keeps a meticulous chemical balance. The pool for him is like a sand garden.

    • 400daystil40

      November 10, 2012 at 01:02

      Yes, I have had the same thoughts – I have become a bit germaphobic and that has had a great impact on my ability to enjoy pools.

  2. Hawkruh

    November 9, 2012 at 04:14

    Are you still in California?

  3. sakuraandme

    November 9, 2012 at 07:20

    I can’t wait for summer to swim in the pool! ……..Paula x

  4. Another Thousand Words

    November 9, 2012 at 23:57

    First, 400, allow me to compliment these two great images…very nicely done, so take a bow!

    I no longer swim. The reason? As early as 9 years old, I would ‘come down’ with a terrible cough which caused me to miss an awful lot of school (I could never shake it, entirely). This would begin in August, then began in July…when it started (in my mid-teens) in late June, I basically stopped going to public pools. I swam in private pools after that…but even gave up those forty some years ago. People tend to ‘relieve’ themselves in pools, which is terribly unhealthy for other swimmers, so it became a big No-no for me.

    • 400daystil40

      November 10, 2012 at 00:58

      Thank you, again, for the compliment on the photos! I have so much fun taking them! I SOO agree with you re: the hygiene in pools – it is one of the things that turned me off from them as well!

      • Another Thousand Words

        November 10, 2012 at 02:46

        In 1993, I was ‘attacked’ by a bacterium in Milwaukee water called Cryptosporidium…which almost killed me and wiped out my immune system. Though I live only a short half-block from Lake Michigan, I have only walked through shore water ONCE in 13 1/2 years of living here…the water is unclean, and frequently many beaches are closed due to E. coli infestations. I’ll stay on dry land…if I want ‘wet’, I’ll take a shower!

        • 400daystil40

          November 10, 2012 at 23:35

          Oh no, that sounds horrible. I am so glad that you lived through in and are okay – what a traumatic experience that must have been.

          • Another Thousand Words

            November 11, 2012 at 17:08

            Well, I’m still here…after many ‘near death’ experiences…and VERY happy to be alive!

          • 400daystil40

            November 18, 2012 at 22:36

            I am too!


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