There’s a song from the late 1930′s called “The Three Little Fishies (Itty Bitty Pool)” by Saxie Dowell. It’s been a favourite in our house for years, brought to life by Play School (of course!).
One of the lines in the song is ‘”Swim” said the mama fishie “swim if you can”‘.
This is advice that my DB and I are now taking. This year, for the first time, we enrolled our boys in regular swimming lessons on the weekend. We found that the twice a year school & vacation swimming was only getting them so far. They’d progress well during the intensive lessons and then after a break of weeks or even months (depending on when the lessons were held) would have forgotten much of what they’d previously learned.
This term, on a Sunday morning at the bright and early time of 8.20 we head off to the local swimming pool for lessons. The lessons last for 35 minutes. DB and I could sit and just watch the boys. But we’ve decided to take note of the song too – “swim, swim if you can”. That 35 minutes when the boys do their different lessons at the exact same time gives us a chance to get some much needed exercise. We take 20 minutes to swim as many laps as we can and still watch the boys for the last 10 minutes or so of their lessons.
In the first week, we struggled to swim 14 laps in that time. The first two laps were a killer. Today we did 20 in about 15 or 18 minutes. Now, the 6th lap is the one that hurts.
This morning as I did my first lap of freestyle I could feel the muscles in my back pull, tighten and then give in. It felt nice. I don’t think of anything much while I swim. Is the band-aid on my toe falling off? What lap am I up to? Normally my mind is racing – what I need to do now, in five minutes, what I’ll cook for dinner, the dog needs a walk.
The time spent with DB is valuable, rare time. A joint interest outside of our family life. Something that’s just us. Sometimes you just have to take the opportunities for me, for us, and grab them when you can.
When do you “swim if you can”?