Bloomin' Friday

A Little Throwback Thursday with Some Jumping Up and Down, Too

First, the throwback part.  Let's check out this page from my high school yearbook. . .

Yearbook 1977

See that picture up there?  The one of the girl diving into the pool for the start of a swim race?  Yeah.  That's me.  1977.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a Swimmer.  I took my first swim lessons at age 5, and was pretty much at ease in the pool from that moment on.  Some of my best childhood memories involve swim friends, swim team, and swim meets.

I gotta tell you, though.  Swimming - for regular exercise - is a bit of a hassle.  First, you need to have access to a pool.  Then, there's always a lot of "getting ready" time (before and after a swim).  And, well . . . there's also the matter of those pesky, telltale "goggle marks" on your face (which seem to get worse the older my skin gets).


When I had to stop running and dancing last year, I decided I might as well deal with the hassles and get back to swimming.  

It's been a great decision all around.  I love it.  I'm good at it.  And it's very good exercise, all around.  I generally swim 4 times a week -- with a goal of swimming 10,000 yards per week (just over 5 1/2 miles). (It's still a hassle, though.)

Here's my pool.  (Just imagine it with people in it.)  (Sometimes too many people.)  (Just sayin.)


One day, last summer, I noticed an adult woman taking a beginning swim lesson in the adjoining pool (a separate poolnot pictured above).  I noticed her, particularly, because you just don't see that many adults learning to swim. She was nervous and hesitant -- but absolutely determined!

Now, swimming is not an easy sport to pick up as an adult.  It takes a lot of coordination to get the pulling and the kicking and breathing (especially the breathing) all working together to propel a person - efficiently - through water.  (After all, humans . . . were meant for land -- not water!)  I am always impressed with - and really in awe of - adults who decide to take on learning-to-swim.  I always try to be as encouraging as I can be when I see a new swimmer.  (I was also a cheerleader in high school. . . )

So I became Miriam's (that's the new swimmer's name) cheerleader.  I tell her how well she's doing and explain that - yes - the breathing is the hardest part.  She tells me I make it look so easy.  I tell her I've been swimming since I was five.  She tells me that she watches me swim to try to figure out the mechanics of breathing.  I tell her she's doing great and that I can see improvement every week.  

It's like that.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed Miriam in the lane next to me.  She told me she had "graduated" from her swim lessons, and was now on her own.  She was practicing in the lap pool, now -- and she told me her goal was to swim one length of the pool without stopping.

She was close.  But she always stood up a few yards before she got to the end of the pool.

I encouraged her.  You're so close, Miriam!  Four more arm strokes and you'll be there!

She took off. 

I watched.

And . . . she made it!  One length; no stopping!

When she grabbed the wall and stood up at the other end of the pool, she turned and looked at me.  I just jumped up and down with my arms in the air.  And so did Miriam.  

It was like she'd just won an Olympic medal!

I swam down to meet her.  You did it! I knew you could!

She was beaming -- just beaming.  Now . . . she told me . . . my goal is TWO lengths without stopping!

I have no doubt! 





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TBT is always fun, and a heartwarming TBT is even better! Hooray for Miriam (and you as her cheerleader); tell her we're all virtually cheering her on for two lengths. She can do it!


I have toyed with learning to swim, but have always chickened out. Maybe I should make myself do it, you know?


As a person who struggled with swimming (that breathing thing was just so defeating) I am in awe of both you and Miriam! And, BRAVO to her! And, kudos to you for shining every place you are!


You'd be a wonderful coach! You're just what she needed to build her confidence and you were there for her the whole way! Yay, Kym! Way to go! I have access to a pool and I've been thinking about an aerobics class to strengthen my shoulders. I am having trouble getting myself to buy a suit. One must do that first. :)


Kudos to both you & Miriam! Your encouragement will make her journey so much more enjoyable. Your yearbook picture is great. We had no sports for girls in our HS, Title 9 went into effect the year after I graduated. I remember petitioning our school board for some of us to play intramural field hockey and some to have swim meets with other schools - the answer was a big "NO!"


Go Miriam! She's a lucky lady to have you as her cheerleader! And I'll bet you just glide through that water!


This is the best kind of story. Hooray for you for getting involved in Miriam's story. I just attended a library conference where we talked a LOT about the importance of mentoring and this is such a good example of how it can really make an impact on someone's life. And hooray for Miriam, too, for achieving her goal and immediately setting a new one!


Everyone needs a cheerleader like you! (I am a marginal swimmer. Mostly learned when I was 20-25. I can save myself, mostly.)


Aw, that's fantastic!! Go Miriam!!


YAY Miriam! and YAY you for supporting her... every little bit helps and you gave a LOT!

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