Sunday, 19 April 2009
At Swim, Two Worlds.
Many years ago I had a recurring dream.
I would be in a huge swimming pool, floating on my back.
Or doing the butterfly, or breast stroke.
Sometimes I would be swimming underwater, almost touching the floor of the pool.
And I would wake up with a feeling of exhileration. Ready for the day.
Fuck it, I was ready for the world.
But it was just a dream. I had a dread fear of the water.
I could get in and paddle about a bit at the seaside, but that was it.
One of the things that I would never do. Swim.
But then kids, the little feckers!
"Why can't you swim Dad?" they would say, when they came up for air.
From the lovely pool at our hotel on our holiday in France.
Truth is, I had fallen off the riverbank as a kid into the Shannon.
Tide was low at the time, and I got out after a few seconds, but to me it had seemed like I was in a strange, quiet, out of this world cocoon for what seemed like an eternity, and it scared me shitless.
That was me and water done with.
But them feckin' kids!
They persuaded me to take lessons. Scary.
I cannot describe the feeling of joy I had as I moved thru' the water unaided for the first time.
I still get that same thrill every time I go swimming.
I swam in the ocean for the first time last summer in Lanzarote.
Herself and the kids all said they have never seen me with a bigger smile!
I was resigned to the fact that I would never swim.
But I did conquer my fear of water. I did swim. I love swimming.
My recurring dream came true.
At the age of 43.
Those swimming lessons taught me a lot.
And not just how to swim.