Am I Breathing Underwater?

I am not a swimmer.

I don’t enjoy the water. Actually, I rather enjoy water; I do not enjoy being in the water. I mean, who willingly jumps into and flails around a substance that, if it gets into your lungs, can kill you?

There is, I suppose, the benefit of knowing how and being able to survive in said substance, something that really should be emphasized in a country like this one, where water is abundant – from rivers and lakes to pools and the like.


Underwater selfie in the Dominican 2015

Yes, I’ve played in pools and could float about if I had to, but I never really reached the point where I wanted to do it, whether it be for fun or fitness or to cool off on a hot summer’s day. And I really should try to get to that point.

So I signed up for swim lessons. 30-year old me.

Ottawa has great resources for its residents, including recreational activities. There was a swim program with one spot available that started immediately, so I took it. And that’s where I find myself once a week: in a shallow pool with two lifeguard-teachers alongside nine other adults trying to figure it all out. It’s the perfect setting to learn, work on, and improve techniques while getting positive feedback , without feeling like you’re the only one in the pool who doesn’t quite know what to do next and will make a mistake trying.

And I’m the whitest one there. It’s an odd, but not unsurprising observation.

It’s working, though. I’m much more comfortable not only in the water, but with the water. If anything, I’m learning how to trust it, which goes a long way to making swimming a more regular physical, and hopefully enjoyable activity. Our community has indoor and outdoor pools, and this summer, I should be taking advantage of that.