Sooo...in the latest installment of self-improvement, I have decided that I am going to learn to swim.
I'm going to try anyway.
And yes, I realize that it is a little odd that I have managed to make it 29 years without really knowing how to swim, but it's true. Oh, I'm pretty sure that at some point along the way, someone somewhere tried to teach me, but apparently the very first lesson one must master in learning to swim is the whole sticking your face in the water thing, and I do not do that at all thankyouverymuch. I believe my unrelenting response to that was, "Yeah...I don't think so" and if they persisted, "You're going to want to take about three steps back or that whistle is going where the sun don't shine".
(Needless to say, my enrollment in the 5 year old "tadpoles" swim class was short-lived).
It's not that I'm scared of drowning or anything. It's just that I can't seem to master blowing air out of my nose while under water. (Here's the problem with my nose. No matter how much air I blow out, water still races upwards and immediately makes itself at home in my sinuses for the next three days. And that hurts. I know, I know, it's physically impossible for water to go up my nose if I'm busy blowing air out, blah, blah, blah-it happens anyway. Don't ask me why. My best guess is that I have an invisible third nostril somewhere that I don't know about. I wouldn't put it past me).
Anyway, up until now, I have been a world class dog-paddler, but the whole sticking my face in the water and actually swimming thing? Not so much. And I was absolutely fine with that, until something happened that changed my (non-) swimming life forever.
The first thing was that I noticed that whenever I happened to pass the pool at the gym, all those people busily splashing back and forth, back and forth, in their little bobber-lined lanes looked ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS. They were thin, they were strong, and they had toned legs and shoulders that I was like, "where do I sign up for those?". Even the 90 year old guy had better looking legs and shoulders than me! (The rest of him was just a wrinkly bag of bones, so you can't tell me that it was genetic). And I was like, all these people are in the pool all the time. Coincidence? I sure hope so, because I'm still not sticking my face in the water.
The second thing that happened was that after all those beautiful people with their fancy swimming rubbed their perfect shoulders and legs in my face for a little while, I decided that maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I just brought a kickboard and kicked my way up and down the lanes a little bit. So I did. And it turns out that that's kinda fun. (Of course, I wasn't fooling anybody into thinking that I was one of the serious swimmers, but I did make a big deal of moving my shoulder around and grimacing a lot so they'd all think that I was doing physical therapy and not laugh me out of the pool). And that was cool too.
The third thing that happened was that one day, while I was busily kicking along on my little kickboard and muttering things like "stupid rotator cuff" whenever anybody got close, I happened to glance over at the woman in the lane next to me. At first, I thought that she was just readjusting her goggles, but right as I looked up, I saw her pull something off of her nose. And I was like, "Excuse me! What the heck was that that you just pulled off of your face just now?", and she (after looking really surprised that the weird muttering kickboard girl had just lunged over the bobber-line and invaded her lane) was like, "Oh this? It's my nose plug to keep water out of my sinuses". And I was like, "Reeeeeeeeally".
And then a little nose-plugged shaped light bulb went off over my head. Because ya'll, while technically I knew that such a thing existed, it wasn't something that I spent much time contemplating. And even if I did spend my time sitting around musing over such things, this nose plug was a lot more sophisticated than I would have expected. This one, first of all, was completely clear, so had it not been for the fact that she stood up out of the water and messed with it, I would have never ever guessed that it was there. Second, they don't have those dorky little neck straps on them anymore. She actually clipped hers to the side of her goggles when it wasn't on her nose. And third, she was able to swim like an actual real live honest to goodness swimmer without GETTING WATER UP HER NOSE!
I'll be honest with you; it was a watershed moment for me. And I was like, if I had a fancy new-fangled nose pluggy thing, then I too could do super-duper swim moves that would make Michael Phelps green with envy. (And who doesn't want that?)
So off I ran to Wal-mart to pick up some pretty blue goggles and a matching new nose plug. And I have coerced the seester into trying to teach me some official moves. (She used to be on the high school swim team and learned all about all that kicking and moving your arms and stuff, whereas I, well, never did). I figure that in a couple of weeks, I'll be swimming like a fish and giving old wrinkly bag of bones guy a real run for his money.
Eat your heart out, Michael Phelps.