Another thing I never learned to do properly? Or, to be honest, at all? Dive. I can recall one, maybe two afternoons at the side of the pool with friends vaguely trying to do it, but it just didn't happen for me. Then I got too old and self-conscious.
This morning I went to swim class, and my regular teacher was not there. The woman who was there was great. Part of it was just having a different pair of eyes to watch my stroke and tell me some things to do. She told me to slow down, which I find very difficult. I have this problem with running, too: not that I go so fast, but I have only one speed.
After we had worked on our freestyle kicks, and arm strokes, and did some backstroke to get our wind back, she said, "Any interest in learning to dive?" I looked away and didn't answer. The other two women said yes. So we went to the deep end and started working on it. The silver lining of self-consciousness is that at a certain point not trying becomes even more conspicuous than trying. I learned to dive today.
It made me cry. I was able to hold it together until I got in the shower, but it made me cry. Because that was something I thought I would never, never do. I thought that door was closed.
And I want to thank dear Mama at The Elmo Wallpaper, because she started me on this road.