Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 11:41 pm
A thread about life jackets prompted me to start this thread. Did not want to hijack that one. Anyway, when I was a kid, we used one of Fresno, CA's, canals for a swimming hole. I learned early to dog paddle and then began swimming with the conventional strokes. No matter how I tried, I could never stay afloat for long. We would spend hours there, every day of summer, just about. I recall an incident where a stranger kid wanted to wrestle about in the water. He backed off when I said I could not swim. He wanted to go after me and hold me under, when he saw me swim, making all the right moves. Fortunately, my brother was there to tell him I could not stay afloat very well.

In succeeding years, people tried to help me. Sometimes they tried to teach me to float on my back. No matter how long I tried, I always sank when attempting that move.

At age fifteen, I went with my brothers and some friends to swim in the Nueces River, by Corpus Christi. By making a superhuman effort, I swam all the way across it. Then I rested a while, before heading back. I notified a family friend I was coming and set set my course to him. I was tired and growing weak. As I reached to within four feet of the bank, I put my hand up for him to haul me in. He withheld that help, wanting me to complete the job all on my own. When he backed away, I lost buoyancy. I don't know if I would have drowned, but I felt very helpless. The friend then reached in and pulled me out.

In Navy boot camp, one is expected to swim all the way around the perimeter of the pool. I made it two thirds of the way. I was sent around again. I barely made it and was labeled a third class swimmer. I worried about somehow getting in the water, during our missions at sea, until I realized that we all probably would have drowned anyway, if the ship sank.

So, that's it. Some of us are not meant to swim.
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 11:48 pm
@edgarblythe,
Hey, at least you can dog paddle and swim marginal distances. I still haven't figured out how to float in one place and tread water.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 12:18 am
@tsarstepan,
My anatomy is not right. In my youth I took a correspondence art course. A lessen called on one to draw a hand. In this instance, it was deemed acceptable to trace around one's own hand and fill in the details. I traced my hand and filled in the rest. The instructor informed me, "hands are not shaped like this." Mr. Green
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 12:30 am
@edgarblythe,
That's weirdly humbling to be told that by an art instructor Razz .
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 12:34 am
@tsarstepan,
If most people had said it, I would not have paid attention.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 07:17 am
Edgar, it's very interesting that someone who can't swim would join the Navy instead of some other branch of the service.

My mom can't swim a stroke, she's terrified of the water. Even though we were poor growing up she made sure we had swimming lessons. I truly appreciate that.

There is a real push here to make sure every second grader has swimming lessons. I love that idea.

djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 07:26 am
i never learned to swim

i like the water well enough, when i was younger and friends had a boat, i used to put on a life jacket and join in riding an inner tube towed behind the boat, never thought twice about it, another friend never went near it, and she was a certified lifeguard and a medaled swimmer in high school
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 07:40 am
@djjd62,
That's the one thing that I can do is swim. Learned to when I was little and first started to mud crawl. Gradually, I learned to float and it takes total relaxation to do so. Then I learned the Australian crawl. Learned to dive next and that took practice.
dyslexia
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 09:00 am
Edgar, I meant to tell you when you were here, you have unusual hands.`
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 09:20 am
I've been able to stay afloat and swim short distances for a long time; but NOW I'm trying to complete a triathlon this year and I need to be able to swim a mile or more (depending on the tri).

I joined a gym that has a pool last week and tried to swim just a few laps; very very very tough.

Hopefully I get better at this.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:16 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Edgar, it's very interesting that someone who can't swim would join the Navy instead of some other branch of the service.

My mom can't swim a stroke, she's terrified of the water. Even though we were poor growing up she made sure we had swimming lessons. I truly appreciate that.

There is a real push here to make sure every second grader has swimming lessons. I love that idea.




I joined the Navy because I did not fancy digging a hole and sleeping in it. I did not consider the swimming part, because there are life jackets to be had, plus, sailors stay on ships. Rarely do most swim.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:18 am
@djjd62,
I suggest lessons, immediately. When the ice melts, there may be flooding.
0 Replies
 
LionTamerX
 
  4  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:20 am
Edgar, I think all of this means you have a heart made of solid gold, which, no doubt, weighs you down.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:24 am
@LionTamerX,
LionTamerX wrote:

Edgar, I think all of this means you have a heart made of solid gold, which, no doubt, weighs you down.

Maybe just copper. My hands are like paddles, but that doesn't help. Check it out.
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee307/edgarblythe/punkynme-1.jpg?t=1262535673
LionTamerX
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:33 am
@edgarblythe,
I think your picture proves my point. Can I get a witness ?
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:40 am
Quote:
My hands are like paddles, but that doesn't help.


Er, wouldn't paddles, by definition, help you swim?
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:42 am
I'll be your witness!

I can't swim well, either. Despite dozens of lessons, I just cannot get the breathing right. I always end up with a mouth full of water. Fortunately, I float very well.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:43 am
@littlek,
littlek wrote:

Quote:
My hands are like paddles, but that doesn't help.


Er, wouldn't paddles, by definition, help you swim?


So one might think. It doesn't.
0 Replies
 
alex240101
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:58 am
@LionTamerX,
What you don't see, is the nacho cheese, edgarblythe dabbed onto his upper cheek.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 11:02 am
@alex240101,
alex240101 wrote:

What you don't see, is the nacho cheese, edgarblythe dabbed onto his upper cheek.


I hate getting licked by dogs.
0 Replies
 
 

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