Swimming, Swimming in my swimming pool

swimming

There’s two very different stages of swimming. The beginning: the glide, the even pace, the feeling of cool water with a refreshing burst of sunshine with each breath. It’s in these moments that I sing to myself. A preschool rhyme from Canada. The second little traveller stood in a line with the rest of her class performing the motions. I sat with other parents in rows, holding my camera while my heart melted. Snowflakes fell outside in the car park, her eyes widened as she performed an overdramatic movement with each chorus.

“Swimming, swimming in my swimming pool

some days are hot some days are cold

in my swimming pool

breast stroke, side stroke, in my swimming pool

oh wouldn’t it be nice if there was nothing else to do…”

This is the old, old, life. The life before Houston, the life after Libya. Snowflakes, toboggans, chariots hitched onto the back of bikes. I see faces as I swim. The kindergarten teacher, the friends who hosted the baby shower for Henry Hotdog. I see myself standing pregnant in the kitchen of our house with a toddler in a high chair. Rushing people along to get to nursery so they could practice their song for the concert.

“Swimming, swimming in my swimming pool

some days are hot some days are cold

in my swimming pool

breast stroke, side stroke, in my swimming pool

oh wouldn’t it be nice if there was nothing else to do…”

The second stage of swimming involves having no breath. Arms that can barely make it out of the water begin to slap flat as they make it back to the surface. Bodies roll to the side, desperate for an extra nano second of breath. Fatigue means that tumble turns are impossible. I think about the days of swimming training as a teen. Days when breathing didn’t require thought and tumble turns felt like a break. A highlight. Bodies were light as they streamed through the water like speedboats with a flip and a twist. Now I’m a freighter with a heavy cargo.

The speedboat life was the old, old, old, old life. Before everything. Before the city, before Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. When an adventure was a trip to the river with a towel over my shoulders and a dollar note tucked into my bathers. A life full of summer sports and fresh air, of swimming training, the up and down; one, two, three, breathe. The simplicity of a life where decisions are made for you.

“Swimming, swimming in my swimming pool.

Some days are hot some days are cold,

in my swimming pool.

Breast stroke, side stroke, in my swimming pool

Oh wouldn’t it be nice if there was nothing else to do…”

As I swim I calculate the time difference. If I make it home by 1 I’ll be able to catch my mother on Skype for her birthday. I’ll do that before I ring the freelance writer about the job she wants to hand over. And the blog, what to write about today? Maybe swimming? Felicity wouldn’t mind if I didn’t get the rate sheet or the media kit to her until later this evening, she said she wouldn’t be working until tomorrow so that can wait. But what am I going to do about study? Surely I’ve read it wrong? There couldn’t be that many modules to be completed? I should shoot the lecturer a note, just ask what the most important thing is to do first. We have to eat those chicken breasts, what can we use them for? What did Annie write down on this week’s menu plan. Green chicken curry? No, a bbq. I could wrap them in bacon on the bbq? Kick, I have to remember to kick. Why can’t I kick? I must have kicked when I was younger? Lizzie needs bathers before the weekend. I hope she remembers to get Henry, they’ll call me if she doesn’t remember. Maybe I should just get everyone bathers? I’ll take them all on Thursday morning.

As I get closer to the end I can feel my swimming instructor leaning over the side of the pool.

“Two more and you’ll be done. Just two more”.

Swimming, swimming in my swimming pool

Some days are hot some days are cold

In my swimming pool

Breast stroke, side stroke, in my swimming pool

Oh wouldn’t it be nice if there was nothing else to do..

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