Sunday, July 12, 2015

Safety first around water - because I swim like a stone

I'm not a big fan of water.
Yes, I do shower on a regular basis, like once a month whether I need it or not.
I am kidding of course. I wouldn't be able to stand to be near myself if I showered only once every four weeks.
The kind of water I am referring to is the kind that goes over my head – namely a lake, ocean or deep stream.
I don't mind pools so much because I know I can sink to the bottom, push off and shoot to the top.
In a lake or ocean, who knows where the bottom is.
The problem is swimming – I am not very good at it.
I never took lessons as a kid and while we did have a pool, it was an above ground pool and was only four feet deep, so when I got tired of swimming I just stood up.
I can flap my arms and kick my legs enough to achieve some forward motion in a body of water, but I am hardly an Olympic-ready aqua fiend.
But even more concerning than my lack of swimming prowess is the fact I can't float.
I know, it's weird, but the second I stop thrashing about in the water I sink like a stone.
I have tried floating on my back like I have seen so many others do, but with very limited success.
It is more like a slow sinking than an actual floating.
For an oh-so-brief while I do manage to keep my face above water – barely. But I know it will not last and I have to start treading water again or I will be doing my Davey Jones impression.
My buddy can float on water like a walrus (which is sort of how he's built actually) and if I were ever in a boat that capsized all I would have to do is grab hold of him and float around until the rescue ship arrived.
In fact, I would invite others to share the ample wealth of his floating girth.
I am not exactly a small man and I do have some blubber on my frame, but I still go under the water faster than a frightened fish.
My dad is the same way. He sinks like a stone tied to a rock.
Like father, like son I guess.
But instead of the lack of floating ability, why couldn't I have inherited his hair. I am nearing the cueball stage of life, while he has more hair than an '80's rock band.
At 81 years old, he has more hair on his head than I have had on mine for more than 20 years.
Do I get that genetic trait?
No, I have to get the one where I have the buoyancy of a lead pipe – filled with cement.
So knowing I am a weak swimmer and have the floating ability of iron ore, I am understandably uncomfortable around water.
When I am in a boat I prefer to wear a life jacket – be it a small fishing boat or ski boat.
When the children were younger, I wore one “as an example that is it safety first.”
I did not care if I was the only adult in the 20-foot ski boat wearing a red life preserver, I was doing it for the children.
I'm quite safety concious that way.
But I will admit when there were no young children in the watercraft, I did bow to peer pressure and not wanting to look like a total weinie, I did not don my floating garment.
But I always made sure it was close at hand and would even casually make sure my foot was sticking through one of the openings so if I went in the water, it was coming with me.

After all, it is safety first.

No comments: