My mom is deathly afraid of water. She was an east Texas sharecroppers daughter who didn't have many opportunities to learn to swim and is just one of those people who prefer their water limits to standard sized bathtubs. However, recognizing the limitations and ridicule this fear of water created in her life, she was determined that my brother and I would learn to swim. I must have inherited some of that fear from my mom because I remember a somewhat traumatic experience when after a few lessons I was forcedto swim in the the deep water. I didn't like that I couldn't touch bottom. I did learn to swim that summer but limited my excursions to the 3 & 4 foot depths.
When I was a teenager, my parents purchased lake property in east Texas for a getaway from the Houston rat-race. We had friends with property nearby and they had a ski boat. Their daughters could all water ski and I wanted to learn how. My dad informed me that I would have to learn to swim in water over my head before I could learn to water ski and so I went to the fatherly school of advanced swimming lessons--also known as throw your daughter off the swimming platform and let her figure it out. Note: I may have over dramatized his methods but that is how it felt at the time! I did learn to swim in deeper water and eventually water ski and have enjoyed doing both over the years.
This week I got an opportunity to test those deep water swimming skills even further with an excursion out to a remote island to snorkel. It was the best experience ever! Thanks to Frank and the crew of the Pride of Maui (and 40 bucks for the rental of the underwater digital camera), I was able to see some spectacular coral reef, exotic fish and sea turtles on my vacation adventure part 2.
Thank you mom for making me take the swim lessons and for the way it has enriched my life ever since.