Day 191 – October 17, 2014

I’m not much of a water person. I don’t drink it, don’t sail on it, and definitely don’t swim in it. I woke yesterday morning nervous for water. Time to confront my aquatic fears.

I biked in the brisk morning sun through Golden Gate Park into San Francisco’s Richmond District to arrive at Rossi Park and Pool. I enrolled in Introduction to Swimming, better known as beginning water torture. Fortunately, this class meets only once per week, on Thursdays at 10am, for 45 minutes.

I have not visited a pool for years. Pools are for cocktails, deck chairs, and large umbrellas. The glittery water serves only as a visual embellishment, not something one would willingly enter.

I figure out first the changing room, after which I jump – no, fearfully struggle into the frigid water to join ten other classmates and three instructors. I am in luck; with so many instructors, they divide the class into three proficiency groups. I am placed with 3 others in the middle group. We are not the drowners but nor are we the swimmers.

Kyle, in swim cap and goggles, tells us how to exhale under water, how to push off a wall, and how to kick the feetsies. I pick up some of the instruction quickly, eventually kicking from one narrow end of the pool to the other side. Kyle diagrams competently the basic body mechanics.

I have yet to learn how to inhale. Nonetheless, I may even like swimming, although it is disguised water torture. After a few more classes, I will register for a triathlon. I need to swim just from Alcatraz Island across San Francisco Bay. No inhaling!