the theory has proved true!
i CAN swim!
once or twice when i was little, my sister, my cousins, and i were taken, in the back of a pickup truck, to a water slide. this was before there were water parks. back then, you got a slide. you rode it over and over again, and you were happy about it. well, my sister and my cousins did, at least. here’s how the day went for my non-swimmin’ ass:
- arrive at water slide
- become half-paralyzed with terror
- climb up with everyone anyway
- experience full paralysis at top of slide
- stand to the side and make everybody else go first
- wait at top to see if they really made it back
- ask everyone if they flipped over into the pool at the bottom
- get reassured that i won’t flip over
- repeat from #5
eventually, my sister would agree to ride down with me to save me from what i felt was all but certain death by drowning. by the time i was riding by myself and starting to really have fun, it would be time to go home.
this brings me to now. i’ve already wasted two and a half weeks of day after gorgeous, hot day. up ‘til yesterday, the most i had done at the pool is get in up to my chest to cool off. why? because whenever i went, there were people there. with all the apparata i was going to have to strap on to test out my theory, i was too self-conscious to try. not to mention having to come back and deal with my hair with marisa and no-face around.
well, i decided that the planets had aligned and indicated that yesterday was The Day. marisa and faceless were leaving early for a trip to oahu, not to return until the following night. i had worked almost a double to meet a deadline early so i could cut out by 9am. the pool should be empty that early, right? dern if i wasn’t there by 9:05, and what did i see when i arrived? a three-man crew working on the jacuzzi, and an older lady in the pool swimming laps. bugger all!
there was no turning back, though. a deal was a deal. i got into the water and watched the swimming lady, who would rest at each end of the pool between laps. i started to cheer her on and keep count for her.
“alright, your turn,” she said.
“i can’t even swim,” i laughed, “but i can coach. let’s see some hustle out there!”
we had talked at length before she was done and got out of the water to lay out—with her back to the pool!—for a while. another girl had arrived, but she was just laying out to tan also. and the work crew had roped off the jacuzzi and departed. it was now or never. i put on goggles, i clipped my nose, and, dammit, i gave it a go.
“you can swim,” said the lap lady, having turned around to see who was in the pool. “i thought you said you couldn’t.”
that’s right, lady—you just witnessed history being made.
i, jan, went for a swim.
i went swimming.
i have swum!
these are things i’ve never said before!
i swam the width of that pool, from five foot marker to five foot marker, twenty times. i was enjoying it so much that i didn’t want to get out. and know what else is really great? it’s not even time to go home.