Sunday, June 19, 2005

Life Is But A Swim

Yesterday we went to the lake for a swim. I am not much of a swimmer. I like the activity well enough, but it is a rare thing for me to actually make the effort to do it. In fact the last time I took a swim was during my honeymoon three years ago. It has been since collect since I swam in anything other than a private pool, and since I was a child that I have swam in a lake.

A large part of the reason I don’t swim much is my body. I am not what anyone would call fit. I’m not a fat slob, but I’m not too far from it either. I have the white man paunch. I have no upper body development. If I have any sort of a tan it is of the farmers variety, which makes taking my shirt off less than pleasant for all spectators. The little swimming I’ve done since college has been in private pools with nearly no one actually in the water or poolside.

However, seeing the wide variety of people at the lake (women in bikinis with their large bellies hanging out, old men with their paunches tumbling over their speedos) I decided my unattractiveness would fit right in.

The water was cold. Which brought me quickly to the ever present lake decision: do I make my way into the water slowly, allowing me to adjust to the temperature in minute proportions; or do I just plunge right in, giving me a quick jolt which I absorb more quickly? Never one to prolong things I jumped right in and plunged underneath the water. This also gave me the ability to put all of my body underneath the water and out of the eyes of little boys who may decide to taunt me for either my whiteness or fat boy body.

Arising from the plunge I remembered why swimming in a static body of water isn’t always pleasant. The water was dirty. A hundred little kids had kicked up all the dirt, sludge, weeds, and slime from the bottom. I tried not to think about what particles were now clinging to my body, especially when some of it splashed into my mouth.

We swam for about an hour, at which time the question that always occurs to me when I go swimming occurred to me.

What do I do now?

As an adult, swimming isn’t exactly a fun activity anymore. The water is cool and refreshing from the hot sun. It is pleasant exercise for a time, but then I get bored. So we got out and returned home. I managed to avoid the scorching sunburn. Perhaps only because I’m in a perpetual sunburned state these days. Amy, however, was not so lucky. She is now several shades of red. She must have moved the straps on her swimsuit at some point because there are two large red stripes down her shoulders. For I forgot to put sunburn under her straps. Elsewhere, there are blotches of red and white, for my general ability of sunscreaning seems to not be so good.

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