Monday, January 23, 2012

Fess Up Friday, Or: Why it took me 18+ years to appreciate swimming pools

When I was about 10, we went to visit my grandparents in California. The magical thing about visiting them (aside from the pogs, warmth in December, and the general awesomeness that comes with visiting your grandparents, especially at Christmas when you live in a foreign country that's not Canada or Mexico) was their TV. When I was about 10, we lived in Norway, and as far as I knew we only got 2 channels in English: CNN and the Cartoon Network. In retrospect, this was pretty convenient, so I don't know if it was something my parents somehow finagled/convinced us of, or if that was legit. But for argument's sake, let's say we only got 2 English-speaking channels and only one was interesting at the time.

Visiting the grandparents was like a wonderland of overstimulation, available 24 hours a day, with the press of a button (or like 20, depending on how well you knew the remote). The problem is, there were also shows that, rightfully so, I'd never been exposed to until my parents weren't paying attention to what I was watching. (And in their defense, I waited until they weren't paying attention to watch them - sorry Mom.)

And so we have the back story on why I saw Jaws (even worse, just the last bit where the shark pulls the guy off the boat and eats him) at the tender age of 10.


Between that and Rescue 911, where a girl got her hair stuck in the drain at the bottom of the pool...

...pools were just about the worst place in the world to me.

The worst part is that I don't think I ever told my mom that, so shortly after that fateful trip to Cali, she put me on the local swim team. The pool at this particular place got super deep at one end, which had me convinced that Jaws lived there and was just waiting for me to slow down long enough to get eaten.

The irony, then, is that I ended up swimming faster so my coach thought I was pretty I got to swim more. It was a vicious cycle...swim more, terrified longer, swim faster, look better, swim more, repeat.

They put me in a meet one weekend, in a pool that was only 3 feet deep and in a lane with no drains in it. I'm fairly certain I came in last and was never invited to compete again. I think they all thought I choked, but really...I just wasn't properly motivated.

screw you, shark. Screw you. 
Now, I told you that story to tell you this story. (Name the comedian)

I went swimming on Friday. Short, slow, and just enough to get the blood flowing and the rage out of my system for the day. It was wonderful.

However, now that I'm looking at pictures of sharks and drains, I may never go back.

Anyone know a good therapist?

1 comment:

  1. I find the drain way more terrifying than the shark. I read some short story about a kid who got his intestines sucked out through a pool drain. Ug.