Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Water baby since birth.

This is totally self indulgent, I apologise. Maybe it will be amusing for you, I hope so, I'm sorry if I go on a bit.

I love to be underwater, I've been able to swim since I was a baby and attended baby swimming classes with my Mum. My Dad has always referred to me as his water baby. I have no fear of water, but respect it completely. When I was about 8 I tried drowning myself in the bath on a few occasions in the hope that I would come back as a mermaid or water baby. In short, I adore water.

So far I have found it to be the main thing that calms me and helps me to think clearly (apart from being in Japan which is not always so accessible!). Last night while in the pool I spent a significant amount of time underwater, mostly thinking while I work on developing and pushing my lung capacity -which I totally recommend for other asthmatics by the way. I came up with 2 lists; what I love about being underwater and what I hate. This will probably only serve to enhance how weird/kooky people think I am, but what the hell, I never thought that was a bad thing!

10 Things I Love About Being Underwater
  1. Staying still and splashing my arm through the water with force so as to feel all the tiny bubbles burst against my face, arms and hands.
  2. Watching very fat people swim. I just love the way the flab moves with the water, it's beautiful.
  3. Watching people in general, the way they kick to stay afloat, they way they chat, their various expressions, babies swimming underwater with ease and without fear etc.
  4. Studying professional/amateur-professional swimmers, the way they literally carve their way through the water with no spray is just awe-inspiring. The pool I swim in is very large, I once saw a guy sweep across it in about 6 strokes, it was incredible.
  5. Watching big muscled guys try to swim really fast due to their competitive streak, but they in fact swim quite slowly and just splash around a hell of a lot. I once passed a guy doing this -I was swimming breast stroke at the time!
  6. Clinging to the side of the pool with the tips of my fingers, forcing myself down at extended arms length (a bit like hanging off a cliff) and staying under until I feel dizzy.
  7. Swimming to the very bottom of the 12ft pool, staying down for a second or two and then shooting up like a bullet. Head rush!!! Then seeing people look impressed (show off!).
  8. Seeing children and young teens swim together free of the concept of sexuality. Last night I saw two girls aged about 13, locked together in a karma sutra style position, doing double somersaults underwater, their friends cheering them on. I think the danger of it mixed with their youth made it even more beautiful.
  9. Seeing the fear on a child's face as they swim alone underwater for the first time and their the joy & pride as they reach their parent's arms.
  10. Feeling the weight of the water on my legs and arms by slowly moving them up and down.

10 Things I Hate About Being Underwater
  1. Realising I'm that grumpy, boring, female swimmer who gets annoyed when teenagers messing about almost bump into me and get in my way. I was there once and was so sure I'd never become 'grumpy swimmer', I'm so disappointed with myself!
  2. Teenagers who mess about almost bump into me and get in my way, making me swerve quickly and deviate from my lovely straight line.
  3. Happily swimming along and then seeing a manky used plaster heading my way. Panicking to get away from it and finding my splashing has only served to wrap it around a part of my body.
  4. Swimming behind someone and then seeing said person fart.
  5. That first moment when water seeps through my swimming cap and goes into my ears.
  6. Having to wear a swimming cap in the first place!
  7. People who splash too much, either by bad swimming or messing around. Inconsiderate bastards!
  8. Getting cramp. It doesn't happen too much but it's very scary when it does, usually because I'm fairly deep underwater at the time. I had cramp that put me out of action for 3 weeks this summer. :(
  9. Lifeguards who do nothing when people are being a nuisance/breaking pool rules because they are intimidated by large groups. Do your job!
  10. Swimming along, feeling hair between my fingers and then looking only to see it's blonde, ginger, brown or some other colour that obviously isn't mine!!!
To be honest, although I adore swimming, I really hate having to share a pool. Owning my own large pool with a diving area has been an aspiration of mine since I was about 8 and visited the pool of a friend's grandparents fairly regularly. I've also been lucky enough to swim in large empty pools on several occasions, it's only enhanced my need to own one all the more.
One day Natalie, one day...