Can I bring water wings?

This decade is one in which conquering fears of the past seems to be the order of the day.

i am sure if you Google Scotland and McDonald and Olympic swimmer you won’t find one hit. We Scots liked to keep our feet on the ground.

There are occasions though when we must encounter water and it seems, swim.

My brother and i recounted recently the number of beginner classes we took and not completed growing up. THREE. For various reasons were not completed and it remains a childhood scar.

A trip to a friends yacht this year demonstrated the need to learn to at least FLOAT. Everyone else was free as a breeze to float, swim and cavort with the waves. I sat onboard going in and out but never staying long. FLOATING was my weak point.

So this week when a Red Cross approved course came along at the University I jumped at the chance; well I floated toward the opportunity.

Arriving at the class at 4:30 to a bleacher full of what I though were fellow ‘floaters’ I was some what surprised when nearly a dozen young students turned, in unison and said, “Our first participant is here”–turns out the only participant. I mean a University of 34,000 and no other NON floaters…sounds like a research proposal.

So for the next hour I made my way through the 6 stations of the ‘cross’ –i was keenly observed by these students as I made my way through each station..surfacing from gathering coloured whales from the bottom of the pool with a “you are good at this”..well try beginner lessons four times and see what you can do. Station 4 seemed forever. It was the moment of truth. Can he float? Can we make him float. 25 LONG minutes with two young female students and one instructor on deck shouting commands—get him to breath through his nose…expel the water with your nose…as if GULPING it in my throat wasn’t enough. One young mermaid hold my feet, one cradling my head and the shouting commands.-raise your belly button up…head back, chin up…float you stone scotsman , float.

Slowing my bottom rose and my head sunk and I had the moment of feeling like I was on a waterbed. SUCCESS..after an hour of feeling waterboarded, the instructor offered this up-You are doing great. An couple hundred hours of practice and you will do just fine.

I finished much to the relief of the ten students waiting to get on with their lives. So with renewed hope and 3 stickers I move on to the next stage…beginner lessons.

Duncan

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