Monday, April 16, 2007

Sink or Swim



Who never saw the inside of an actual zoo until they turned 18? Who never left their home state until AFTER they turned 21? Who never had their own bedroom for more than 2 years? Who never got to enjoy those luxuries that other kids of the 80's did such as the latest fashions, leg warmers, jelly bracelets (other than what her friends decided to share with her), a cool lunch box (or a lunch box at all!), a Trapper Keeper, and Get In Shape Girl accessories (ALL of them)? Whose parent would never take them to Taco Bell (or really any OTHER fast food restaurant for that matter) so that they could get those delightful cinnamon crips (they have resorted to the cinnamon twists now which are not NEARLY as fun)? Who didn't get to go to the park unless it was some crappy family barbeque? Who RARELY got to go to the Lake (even though Lake Erie is awfully dirty)? Who doesn't even know how to swim?..............Who do you ask? Tera.

As I began to reflect upon the many childhood resentments I had/have, as usual, I had a mini epiphany. People laugh and joke all the time about the fact that "Black people don't swim." I could also complain all day long about those opportunities I wasn't afforded as a child...OR...I could do something about it! So what is my latest venture? SWIMMING!

On day one, and I got into the water, other than the mixed feelings of embarrassment and wondering if I was being ridiculous, I was trying to figure out...what the hell am I doing in this pool?! The instructors looked at me with my life belt and 3 red floaties (which was 4 more aiding devices then the rest of the class had) probably wondering why I would even bother! I was disgusted that everyone else in the class was moving about in the water...what the heck were they even doing there? I am determined though...I HAVE to do this...for me.

Day one was a rough one! I couldn't get the floating thing together, I held my breath even when my face was nowhere near the water, my body was ever so tense, and for some strange reason, my right foot wouldn't leave the bottom of the 3 ft. pool because of some strange fear that I might drown (even though I am almost six feet tall)! So I thought to myself as I was ever so nauseated, and my body hurt like hell for several days because of all the muscle tension...I quit!!!!

Am I a quitter? The morining of the next class, I lay in my bed thinking..."I'm not going, I can't do it, and I will never get it." But something told me to get up and get my butt to the Y!

I entered the pool bearing in mind I didn't want all those same ailments from last time, so all I grabbed was 1 floatie (no life belt!) and the little bar thingy they were using to teach us free style...and guess what? I immediately began my kick motion, floated with ease, made it across the pool (well at least up to the 5 ft marker that I dare not go past), and even did a couple of free style strokes! I have no idea where that courage came from, but I am sure glad I went!!!

So my question to you all is this...do you think I can make it? Do you have any suggestions for me? I HAVE to do this...for me.

10 comments:

fringes said...

Tera, I am so proud of you. This is an awesome thing you're doing even if you don't feel like it is. You can make it, you can do it. Si se puede!

Tera said...

Fringes~Thank you so much for the vote of confidence!!! MUCHAS Gracias!

Nina said...

Tera~you'll be fine!!! You've NEVER failed at anything that you put your mind to and you won't fail at swimming either. Promise. Once you get the hang of it all, you'll start having lots of fun. I'm proud of you!!!!

Maybe once you complete this class you can sign up to learn how to ride a motorcycle?!

Tera said...

Nina~Thanks! That is very encouraging...uh, but I don't know about the motorcycle thing...some of us still don't have a good handle on the car (or truck ;-)!!!

Nance said...

Oh, Tera! You're not so different! I was nodding my head with you for a lot of those questions! I was 17 until I went to the zoo; I still don't know how to swim; I didn't have my own room till I went off to college and had a single room for my final quarter...and I never EVER had a lunch box. You are brave for taking swimming--I never did and never will. Do it for both of us. Get in there, woman! Keep us posted and we'll have a Blogger Pool Party when you graduate.

Tera said...

Nance~Really??? It looks like we have a bit in common!

For YEARS, I used to sit there feeling so left out because all I could do is sit on the side of the pool dangling my feet to and fro...while all of my friends soared from the diving board and showed off in the deep end!!!

Blogger Pool Party huh? LOL! I like the sound of that!

Anali said...

You definitely can do it! And the feeling of swimming and floating is the most freeing relaxing wonderful feeling.

I was a big swimmer when I was younger and used to love doing handstands underwater. I can close my eyes and remember what it feels like to float on my back while the sun is shining down on me and I can see the flicker of sunlight through my eyelids. Just relax...

Tera said...

Anali~Thanks! Yes, you are correct...I found that I was MUCH MORE comfortable in the water once I truly RELAXED! I'm getting there...I just have to have faith that I can do it. :)

Nance said...

tera,
i'm trying to leave a comment on your newest post, but for some reason, blogger won't let me.

Tera said...

Hmmm, I wonder why that is??? I'm not too savvy on this, so I wouldn't know what to look for!!!...Perhaps you should leave one on this post...I am interested in reading your thoughts!!!