A personal anecdote from living on the farm on the ‘B’ line between Kincardine and Tiverton, Ontario that was published for my parents as a gift in Rooster Showdown and Other Tales for the Farm. Request permission to reprint through the contact page.
I was excited to begin swimming lessons when I was a child. I loved to go to the beach and to play in our pool. I enjoyed being in the water at the pool and soon warmed up to my swimming teachers. They were great at turning skill learning into little games to keep our attention. As I mentioned I liked being IN the water, not UNDER the water, so my love affair with swimming lessons ended when this concept was introduced.
The instructor’s kept trying to get me to go under by coaxing and encouraging me, but I wouldn’t do it! Each lesson this badgering and harassment continued, until the experience became so stressful that I didn’t want to go anymore. Despite my efforts to skip my lesson, my mother made me go. Mother knows best, I guess!
Reluctantly, I got into the pool and completed all the skills until we got to putting your head under the water. I tried to look inconspicuous so that the instructors would leave me alone. Of course, it didn’t work and one of the girls asked me to dive for the puck on the bottom of the pool. Of course, I refused and she eventually turned her attention elsewhere.
Left to my own demise, I began to play around with the puck below me with my feet. Now I was really quite talented with my toes, and I quickly discovered that I could pick up the puck with my toes. After picking up the puck, I lifted my leg and took the puck with my hand.
Puck in hand, I got a great idea!
I called to the instructor who had given up on me and waved the puck in the air. “Look, I picked up the puck,” I said to the girl.
She said, “Great! Show me.”
I had not thought of that. Not wanting to be caught in a lie, I dropped the puck on the bottom, took a deep breath, and plunged under the water to retrieve the puck. I got it on the first try. When I held up that puck to show the girl I was truly ecstatic. From this point on, I was never afraid to put my head under the water again.