swimming with my father by Tina Andrews .....
Date: 6/17/2006 12:04:44 PM ( 15 y ago)
Popularity: message viewed 948 times
My Dad was a careful swimmer. I think swimming in SF Aquatic Hyde Beach was easier than it was at your beach. There was no undertow or even waves to speak of. My Dad always swam next to me. When I got older sometimes he let me go solo but his eyes were always on me. Sometimes I felt lazy; I did not want to go out that far but knowing he was looking at me swim gave me the incentive to always do my best and go as far as I could. I did not want to disappoint him.
Sometimes I misjudged what I could handle and went out too far. I did not have energy to swim back. I learned the trick to use different strokes and sometimes just did a back float until I regained my strength. I knew Dad was watching me so I tried to do pull myself together. Dad taught me an important lesson which was to just relax in the water. If a tide came I should learn to not fight it and just let it take me whereever it would go. (At a different beach in Long Island, NY this advice came in handy, like you I was pulled away - I wound up on the other side of the beach - a long walk away from my beach towel. My friends looked concerned that I had to walk to far but pretended that I had done it on purpose.)
Dad always reminded me that the salt water would keep me up. I just had to learn to relax and trust God and trust the water.
I tried to pass this lesson on to my children. My son has taken college courses in swimming to learn how to do swim correctly and have better technique. He is now an accomplished swimmer but I taught him a more important lesson; it was my Dad's technique of how to relax in the water. When we go swimming together I always tease him like my Dad did to me. We stay out in the deep water and just stay still. We have long conversations about everything. I bring up all sorts of things to get his mind off of what I want him to accomplish. Instead of focusing on his stroke he is talking to me. When we get back to shore he is surprised to found out he kept himself afloat for 20 minutes or more without realizing it. The next time I kept him out longer. Each time I added another 5 or 10 minutes. I taught my son how to stay afloat by just moving his hands once in awhile and an occassional flutter of his feet. It takes no energy. Dad always told me if I was waiting to be rescued I could do this for hours. When it came to swimming he always had good advice.
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