I can never remember a time when I couldn’t swim. I do remember during a “polio epidemic” in the early 1950’s my parents saying “we can’t do swimming because of polio”. Then came the vaccine and standing in line at Ben Franklin Elementary with 100’s of folk to get our shots. We were members of a local swimming club and almost every day in the summer we would ride our bikes to the Belmont Club to spend hours in the pool. In the winter we went to the YMCA. I was never a fast swimmer but I could go for hours.
In college Phillips University had a great pool that was open until mid October, and then opened up again in April. I even took the Water Safety Instructor training and got my WSI. I will not name names but “skinny dipping” was a regular activity at midnight. One of our favorite teenage adventures was to to go to Stone City Reservoir towards Canon City, where you could jump off of cliffs ranging from 20-50 feet. I will never forget standing at the edge of the 50 ft cliff getting up my nerve to jump feet first. Out of nowhere Joanie Y. stepped to the edge and did a perfect swan dive, every bit spectacular as the divers of Acapulco.
My adult swimming became more an event accompanied by vacations, water skiing, and in 2000 I got certified to scuba dive. Two years ago I decided to start water aerobics as I was spending way too much time sitting. I found both the perfect Geezer exercise, and a community of fellow aging baby boomers. The exercise made a big difference and I found a home in the water again. Then comes Corona Virus, and a complete shutdown of the Apex Pool. About seven weeks ago our HOA pool was opened for very limited use outdoors. You have to sign up, follow all the social distancing protocol, etc. I decided “what the heck I will make up my own routine”. I have been an almost daily regular since.
About three weeks ago I thought maybe I should try swimming some laps. First it was 8, then 12, then 16 and 24. Yesterday I did 32 laps (1/2 mile) and you would have thought by my excitement that I won a medal. This six month hiatus of anything remotely resembling normalcy, has made me appreciate things I took for granted. They are keeping our pool open until September 29. I am trying not to think about what follows. My goal is 64 laps (1 mile) at least once. Who knows—maybe I will grow fins.
Onward and Upward, Mark