I've started taking swim lessons in order to learn how to do it properly. I think like many of us, as a kid, I learned just enough, so that I would not easily drown. I can tread water, swim under water, float on my back and do an OK version of the backstroke. What that means is that I am lacking form and don't know how to combine breath with performing strokes. I signed up for a class at my local pool in the hopes that I would get a handle on what is known as freestyle swimming. What I did not bargain on was instruction being served up with a slice of shame.
On the first day, the instructor, a lifeguard at the pool whom I know in passing and found nice enough, pointed out the repeat course-takers and then shared a bit about some of them. About a man wearing stars and stripes swim trunks he said, 'This guy's a Marine, but he's afraid of water!!' The Marine appeared entirely comfortable in the pool, so I don't know why the instructor needed to 'out him' like that. He then pointed to a woman out of earshot and mentioned that she's 'the friend of the Big Cheese around here, so we had better be nice to her.' Later, he singled out a woman with South Asian roots and said about her covering herself with an over shirt while in the water, 'She's not being modest, she's just cold.'
Say what now, brother?! I wondered what he'd say about me. I didn't have long to wait to find out. The next session he told the class that he had seen me swimming in the deep end (as if that in itself were some feat), but doing it 'bad'. Gee, thanks, mack.
The next swim class is coming up in a couple of days. We shall see what gems he produces then!