This is another Readwave exercise. I have said before that this website gives us writers the opportunity to try different subject matter. You don't have to try the challenge but it is interesting to flex the writing muscle.
The effort put in was beginning to seem like a waste of time! She’d promised that I would achieve the skill within a week and it was day six. I had worked so hard today, following the pattern of movements that were supposed to help me achieve my goal, and yet again ended up spluttering helplessly towards the side of the pool.
Chris was trying to teach me to swim. She was my girlfriend, petite, long brown hair and quite pretty in a down to earth sort of way. Chris was also an exceptional swimmer, a sprinter with cups for competitions that she’d won. So she was surprised when I’d avoided the opportunity to go swimming for the first three months of our relationship and then discovered as an adult I was a non-swimmer. That was when she’d set up the challenge. In my own ‘shrug of the shoulders’ sort of way I felt that a week wasn’t too long so I agreed. This was day six and I was still hopeless but at least not frightened of the water anymore.
“Perhaps it’s a waste of time,” I said with an air of dejection. In life there were occasions when you just have to allow that some things are beyond you.
There was a long pause. I could tell that Christine was weighing up the situation in her own mind and probably wondering whether it was indeed time to give up with me.
“Nope! I said a week and we have at least one more day,” she paused. “I have an idea.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“Wait and see,” she said.
The following morning we went through our usual routine of getting ready to go swimming and I wasn’t feeling confident.
“Do you love me?” Chris asked smiling because she already knew the answer. “Well then – trust me.”
Off we went to the local authority, Victorian built facility. The pool was in the town centre and had included a bath house for the local people who didn’t have bathrooms in their homes, during the reign of Queen Victoria. In a dated sort of way the building was magnificent but the brown, shiny tiles on the walls of the changing rooms were chipped in places and the pool wasn’t that well used because of the dated nature. I liked it because I was embarrassed enough being an adult and not being a swimmer. My confidence was low and Chris could tell.
“I’ll buy the coffees and tasted current teacakes when we’ve finished if you manage this,” she smiled.
Christine had tried a number of ways of teaching me to swim, the most embarrassing strategy was me lying on the side of the pool practising the breast stroke movements in full view of everyone and feeling like a stranded whale. She’d also got me to float on my back and that was the key as it turned out and looking back it seemed simple.
“Into the shallow end,” my teacher commanded.
“On your back,” was the next step.
“Okay now try kicking very gently with your feet.”
I liked the feeling of floating; the conditions weren’t too splashy as there were only the two of us and an elderly gentleman cruising comfortably up and down the pool.
“That’s it – keep going,” encouraged Chris.
I was forced to stop when my head hit the pool side. I turned over, swallowed water, spluttered and hung on to the grab rail.
“Well done! You’ve done it,” cried Chris.
I looked round and I was at the deep end of the pool. Of course my cynical inner being refuted what Christine was enthusing over.
“Don’t look like that. You have propelled yourself through the water for twenty metres. That’s called swimming.” She laughed.
“You have the patience of a saint Chris,” I said hugging her.
“Now the next step,” she smiled. “Let’s do it again and this time use your arms as well.”
So my first proper swimming length was actually back crawl, but the feeling of having achieved another skill in life was immense. However, I wasn’t done and neither was Chris.
“Breaststroke now buddy!”
In my past efforts there had been a lot of frantic splashing and little progress but this time it was different and it wasn’t because of Chris. She’d done brilliantly teaching the mechanics but it was our old gentleman companion that turned on the light for me.
After five minutes of little progress I stopped and leant against the side of the pool watching the old guy. His breast stroke was so slow. That was it! I slowed down, concentrated and used everything that Chris had taught me but at a slower pace.
I have my poetry collection enrolled in this part of Amazon and now the book is enrolled in the Kindle Matchbook - please read on.
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