Thursday, August 20, 2009


Shortly after I got to know him, I discovered that boyfriend T is keen swimmer. Indeed, given the choice of a gym workout or a large number of lengths in a swimming pool, he'll choose the pool every time. I admitted to him my own lack of capability in this area early on in our relationship, but while we were on holiday together last month he wanted to know more.

"So how come you never learned to swim, GB?" he asks.

"My problem is that I sink!" I reply, quite sincerely.

"Don't be silly," he says, laughing at me.

"Honestly, I do!!" I reply laughing a bit too, "I reckon I've got heavy bones or something :-)."

"OK, well why don't we go down to this hotel's swimming pool together and you can show me :-)."

"Sure," I say, "you'll see."

Although deep inside, I know that I probably won't sink. Probably not, anyway!

"But if you don't sink," replies boyfriend T, "promise me that you'll let me teach you to swim."

Oh dear! What on earth am I getting myself into?

"I promise," I reply meekly. Many teachers at school and most of my family have tried to teach me to swim at some point, however I've never had a boyfriend try to teach me. Perhaps that's what I've been waiting for.

Later that day, we change into swimming trunks and wander down to the hotel pool together. I'm feeling a bit nervous, but luckily it's quiet and we have the whole pool to ourselves. Another bit of luck is that the pool is only 1.2 metres deep, so I can't get out of my depth.

"Right," he says, once we're both in the pool, "let's see if you can put your head under the water."

"WHAT?" I reply with panic in my voice. Even though I know that I won't drown, putting my head completely under the water seems like a terrifying prospect.

"Look, it's easy, watch me!" and with that he takes a deep breath and drops down so that he's completely submerged.

While he's under the water, I suddenly recall overhearing my mother and my grandmother talking about me when I was aged about 6.

"When I tried to get him to wash this morning," said my grandmother, "he didn't want to get his face wet!"

"Oh I know," replied my mother with an exasperated tone in her voice, "I've got no idea why. I used to worry about whether he'd wash himself properly when he grows up, but then I realised that by then he be shaving so he'll have no choice!"

Thinking back a couple of years, I recall that some of my ex-boyfriends thought that I should wash more too!

Looking at boyfriend T still submerged, I can't work out why I hate the prospect of putting my own head under the water so much. As far as I know I've never had a bad experience with water, but wherever these feelings come from, they've been there for a very very long time.

"There you go," he says coming up out of the water and taking a deep breath, "Easy isn't it?"

"Oh I don't know," I reply, "Is this really necessary?"

"I just want to see whether you sink or not!" he answers, "like we agreed this morning :-). You can't prove to me that you sink unless you get can your head under water can you!"

Gradually I try to go down, but when it gets to the point that my nose is about to go under, I stop.

"What's the problem?" he asks with a kind of 'let me help' tone in his voice.

"I don't know. I know I'll be OK, but I guess I've got an irrational fear about it, that's all."

"You're a smart guy, you going to have to fight it!"

"Yes, OK," and forcing myself, I quickly dip my entire head under the water.

"Very good," he says, "but you need to stay down for several seconds."

Eventually, and with lots of encouragement from boyfriend T who's very patient with me, I manage to keep my head under the water for about 5 seconds.

"Can't you do any longer?" he asks.

"Actually," I say, with a bit of a guilty tone in my voice, "I'm now finding it hard because I feel a bit of buoyancy ..."

"You mean ... "

"Errr, yes, I guess I don't sink after all!"

"Actually, this whole exercise has been really good," I admit. "For the first time ever, I can see that swimming might actually be possible for me."

"Haven't any of the people who tried to teach you to swim in the past made you get used to being completely underwater?"

"No actually, not like you're doing."

"You can't swim unless your comfortable doing that. It's the first step :-)."

"So do you think you'll be able to teach me to swim?" I ask, hopefully.

"Well, I did assume earlier that you wouldn't be quite so clueless!" he replies with a mischievous grin on his face, "So it's a bit of a long shot!"

Suddenly I start to feel unhappy.

"But don't worry," he continues, spotting my long face, "It'd be great if we could go scuba diving together one day, so I'll carry on teaching you until we can :-)."

Although I haven't done much more than putting my head under the water yet, the next time we take a holiday together I'm really hoping that he'll be able to spend time with me in the water and teach me to swim. And not just because I think that he looks especially hot when he's wearing his swimming trunks!


Sir Wobin said...

Sounds like you're in over your head in more ways than one GB. :->

So you had the pool to yourselves and there wasn't even a smidgeon of naughtiness? Can't say The Husband and I are that good.

Was Once said...

The fear of death comes out in many forms, conquer this and it will be liberating. Once you get further on, you'll find swimming will be an exercise you can do when the muscles are too sore from the gym and with aging...which is unavoidable!

Unknown said...

What a cuuute post =)
Swimming is fun, and it is a good way of doing cardio ~~~

Brad said...

You've obviously got a very loving and patient boyfriend, make sure that you look after him too

Volodya said...

Lovely post! My boyfriend is teaching me swimming these days as well (! It took me quite a while stop being irrationally scared!

close encounters said...

very sweet !

hope the rest of the holiday was good too ?!

Anonymous said...

GB...I laughed so hard towards the end of that. I'm not the best swimmer around. But, I keep hitting the pool because it is one of those important life skills like if your cruise ship hits an iceberg or you want to go swimming with the dolphins.

All I want to say is that now that you have gotten past keeping your head under water, don't stop learning. And, don't wait for holidays for private lessons from your man. Join a local pool and keep learning.

Anonymous said...

After he teaches you, can he teach me? :-|

Godfrey said...

very sweet post. i was never properly taught to swim either. i can swim now, but i mostly like to keep my face above water if i can help it.

Dickson Wong said...

awwwwwwwww, this is so cute!

I want to have such boyfriend too. :-(

I am a swimmer as well. I was forced to learn how to swim by my parents when I was young. I think You really should learn how to swim from your boy (since he is the only teacher who able to teach you) not only because it is super healthy but also it give you the opportunity to wear your a cute speedo swimming Trunk more often. :-P