Sunday, May 13, 2007


I'll take a break from the world of property to mention a plunge of a different sort.

At the time of writing I am 35 years old and I cannot swim. I personally find this completely unremarkable. It's absurdly simple to avoid swimming. If everyone decides to go swimming you just do something else.

If you grow up in Ireland in the 1980's there aren't any swimming pools worth going to and, even in the summer, it's far too cold to brave the sea. Although Irish people usually do learn to swim at some point in their childhood, not being a swimmer never hindered me in any way. Swimming occasions rarely arise and there's always something else to do. Down Under, opportunities to swim are plentiful. As are the swimming pools. And it's not always the case that other activities are on offer.

On rare occasions when the topic of my inability to swim arose in Ireland I was met with mild surprise and generally pressed to take adult lessons of some sort. I politely ventured that I really ought to look into it at some point and promptly dropped the subject. As always Australia is different. The locals are positively aghast when they hear I cannot make my way about on the surface of water unaided. It is almost as if I had announced that I cannot hear and have been secretly lip-reading all their conversations with me. I've had more than one person email me with comprehensive lists of classes. They've practically listed which bus routes to take and have barely stopped short of offering to pay for the classes. Aussies REALLY just don't get that you can't swim.

So I took the plunge (so as to speak) and I'm taking lessons.
Cooling off


Tenwit said...

Next time you're over, I'll teach you to dive. Soon you'll be a well-rounded individual!

Rational Root said...

Once you have the basics, remember to keep your head deep in the water. If you support your head out of the water your body will swim at this angle "/" you want to swim at this "-" angle. You have much less water to push out of your way.

That little trick along will let you swim much faster with no real extra effort.

I thought my 1600 meters in < 38 minutes was good - till I found the world 1500 record was < 14:35
If only that last 100 meters hadn't taken my sooooo long 8-)

Rational Root said...