Friday, February 25, 2005

Fish are not Fat

Yesterday, I did what I said I would do, and I went to the pool to go swimming. That first entails getting everyone ready.

My bag was already packed with my suit, a towel, a sweatshirt, a bandana, and some pool shoes. I did this, went to the pool and learned that it was closed until "next tuesday"..."next tuesday" was two weeks ago, and there my bag sat next to the door taunting me everytime I passed by.

Procrastination out the door, the kids and I went to the pool. I was nervous of course...first that my bathing suit wouldn't fit me...but it did. Then that the shower water would be too cold, but it wasn't...then that the pool would be too cold...and it wasn' I had no excuse to not get into the water.

The kids had a blast, especially Kimi. She just let out thrilled little screams every once in a while as it was her only form of expressing how happy she was...obviously there were no words in her vocabulary to describe her jubilation. I thought her head would explode, thankfully it didn't.

There weren't any other people at the pool...which was nice. We didn't have to compete for water space. I hate that...going to a pool and there are tons of people romping around, splashing, [peeing] and otherwise having a good time...I just want to swim, at my own pace...without worrying that I will run into someone or they will run into me. This also meant that goggles could be warn without the worry of possibly seeing something that you would have preferred to never known existed.

I let the kids play "shark" a bit. Which was fun. Though Kimi soon learned all she had to do to get the shark [who was Zac] is to reach down over her floaty tube and grab his hair...and yank. She apparently has no fear of sharks. Me however, if there is even a hint of shark, I am so out of there.

Which brings me to my irrational fear of water.

I, like many people have seen Jaws. Though, I did one better, I read the book...when I was very young. Believe me, reading it is just as, if not more scary than watching it. I also saw the movie "Pirhana" at a young age.
At any rate, this led to my being very afraid of water...any water. I can still freak myself out in a bathtub without really trying.

I am sure that this has a lot to do with the fact that Hollywood has played upon this very real fear, which is basically vulnerability. Bear with me here...Naked in the bathtub=vulnerable/ Naked in the shower=vulnerable/ Swimming in large bodies of water with [non-human] creatures underneath you=vulnerable. Get my drift? back to me at the pool. I am alone with my kids at a public pool...My son is in charge of the two year old, and they are both sitting in the lounge chairs drying off and warming up. Abi is splashing around in the shallow end near them. So I am off to do my laps. [Que music for lead to horror scene]

Laps. They used to be so easy. I remember back when I was training to be a white water rafting boatman [not lying]...I could swim three lengths of an Olypic size pool in under 2 minutes. That's not bad for an amateur.

Lets just say..things are different now...the only thing truthful in that above statement as applied to today, is that I can still swim.

By halfway through the second lap, I was wearing down. So I stopped there, midway, kind of bobbing in the water looking at my kids who were drying off and playing. And then it struck me...if something were to say come out of the filters on the bottom of the pool...and suck me underwater...I would be a goner.

What would my kids do? Most likely Zac would follow me in to see if he can help...and then Abi would be left with Kimi...and Abi would not exactly watch Kimi very well, and then Kimi would go into the water and be hurt...or worse...then Abi would be left alone, and since Abi is the one most prone to fear of the boogeyman, it would render her unable to speak or function properly for the rest of her life.

I suddenly had the urge to shout out to Zac to not come into the pool, even if I were drowning...but I didn't want to alarm I didn't shout.

Instead I continued on with my laps, heart racing and trying to fight back the fear of the water. I changed swimming positions and started swimming on my back, looking at the ceiling as I swam. In retrospect that was foolish, because I had my back to the filters at that point--and wouldn't be able to see the tentacles coming at me--duh.

I know that in a pool, there is really no danger of something unknown coming up and grabbing you...but my imagination takes flight...and maybe under the pool in the EARTH there is something waiting...right? I've seen Tremors!

In the ocean it is a completely different thing. There most certainly IS something underneath you watching you with their little alien eyeballs, and don't get me started on lakes...the water is murky, and you can't even see the bottom--yet lake dwellers can navigate through that crap clear as day. Whats up with that??

Anyway, I managed to get about 7 laps in...before deciding that my imagination is just way too active for me to exercise. I got out of the pool nearly gasping and wheezing, from fear and from exertion. Swimming is hard work.

I now realize that this is probably what a FISH feels like EVERYDAY. Their reality is that at any given moment...something bigger and faster is going to EAT them. Therefore, the combination of fear and constant movement is the reason that fish are not fat.

Yes, I'll go swimming again...because I am working on a new diet and exercise based on fear. I'm pretty sure it will work...because survival is a pretty huge motivator.


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