In this series I intend to share with you some anecdotes from my short & uneventful past. It just means I get to recall some funny stories and possibly bring a smile to your face as you read them.
I hated swimming lessons. This abhorrence existed for a number of reasons. I always ended up getting water up my nose, andthere’s nothing worse than getting water up your nose.
I went to these lessons with my best friend from primary school, Daniel. He was inconveniently a few months younger than me which meant that when we got in the pool, I got dragged off to be taught in the ‘older’ group – all on my own.
My group consisted of two extremely boisterous kids from Pakistan. They loved the water, and they loved any challenge involving water – jumping, bombing, splashing and various other forms of suicide. Why are you having swimming lessons if you can already do back-flips into the water?
Another reason I hated swimming lessons was due to my sickeningly enthusiastic teacher, Caroline. She must have been in her early twenties. The more excited she got; the higher pitch her voice would go. When I finally managed my first back stroke, I could have sworn I heard dogs barking to the sound of her supersonic yelps.
I also hated the ridiculous arm-band system that they ran. For my first lesson I brought along my retro-classic blow up arm-bands, they looked like and served the function of things that make you float. This center for aquatic education seemed to think that rectangular pieces of fluorescent orange polystyrene were appropriate tools to aid swimmers.
On week one they allow the students to wear four arm-bands on each arm. Don’t get me wrong, they allowed you to float, however they constricted any upper arm movement.
Their simple and ineffective system was, to each week remove one arm band until eventually you could swim without them. Well, that was the theory however when I eventually had to swim without these glorified Frisbees I was left with highly irregular arm movements.
Then there was the time when Caroline asked us if we wanted a ‘dunk-in’. I heard the word ‘dunkin’ and immediately my face lit up. Finally, a treat for having to undergo these loathsome lessons.
Of course, the fish children both knew exactly what she meant by a dunk-in and were equally enthusiastic. She asked us to get out of the pool, by now I was drooling with excitement. “Where are they?” I asked politely.
“Stand in a line!” she screamed as she shuffled us to the edge of the pool. “After three, you jump in!”
What? I suddenly felt my arms being tugged abruptly and before I knew it all I could hear was bubbles. My so called arm-bands were long gone, I could faintly hear the noise of Caroline’s gleeful shrieks, and of course; there was water up my nose.