I've been swimming ever since I can remember. Literally.

I took my first plunge at age two, kicking my legs (I'm told) but forgetting to move my arms.

At age four I jumped off the high board at the public pool where I grew up. It was high, I was little and I hit the water so hard I got the wind knocked out of me and a bloody nose. My love of the pool and swimming was not deterred by a little body busting.

And the public pool became my home away from home during the summer.

And I kept on swimming... through elementary school, high school, and college.

It became something I just did...like brushing my teeth or going to sleep.

It became part of who I was...like the rich Midwestern corn fields and my strong German heritage.

I was (and still am) exhilarated by the smell of chlorine, by the sight of that blue water on a hot sunny day, by the feel of diving into the deep end.

And last weekend I was exhilarated by Dara Torres, the quintessential swimmer, who came of age swimming in the same era as I.

All these years later, when it's all I can do to pull on a suit and swim for half and hour without stopping, she's setting world records at age 41.

(Does anyone else marvel at her body? Anyone? Anyone? Let's hear it for the swimming cougars!)

It's been written that part of her inspiration for coming out of retirement and getting back into the pool was her daughter. She wanted to show her daughter that she was a swimmer. She wanted to show her daughter a part of who she was.

Though I can't swim like her, I can relate to the swimmer in her.

I can relate to the laps, the turns at the wall, the time clock, and the marks the goggles leave behind.

Last summer when my son was just a year old - in one of those "it happened in a split second" moments - he slipped off the step at the pool and went under. I was sitting right beside him, just an arm's length away.

His blond hair floated above him as he sank.

And my first reaction was not to grab him... to save him.

My first reaction was to let him go under...to let him get his first real taste of swimming.

And so that's what I did.

And when I did pull my precious boy up out of the water, he sputtered and opened his eyes and then he smiled. He loved it!

"You did that boy a favor," the lifeguard said. "You didn't over-react and make him scared by the fact that he went under. Swimming comes naturally to little kids like that."

I smiled at him, but didn't say anything. I'd selfishly let him go under not as a favor to him but to me. I wanted someone who was so much a part of me to experience something that was so much a part of me.

I'm certain there is a large sparkling pool in heaven where you can swim laps or float or dive to your heart's content. There is no sunburn around heaven's pool. Water doesn't get up your nose or down your throat.

And, most importantly, everyone who goes under comes back up again. Smiling.


Just Mom :


A big WOW to the new look;
A big WOW to this superbly written post; and
A big WOW to Dara Torres.

Melissa @ Breath of Life :

Love the new look, friend!

Sandra :

Oh I love your new look :)

Great post too!

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows :

Love the new look!

I, too, was a swimmer all my growing up years. That made the fact that my son did not like swimming much more difficult for me to deal with! I wasn't as patient with his fears as I should have been.

I do think, however, that my Best Girl is going to be more like me in the water. I hope so! I really don't want to drag another kid kicking and screaming to lessons! :)

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows :

P.S. And I am awed by Dara! She makes me want to pull out the old cap. Unfortunately, I was never great to start with, so I certainly wouldn't be able to make a comeback now!

KJ :

I am so excited about this woman and the possibilities ahead of her! Woo woo for fortitude and defying the odds!

I didn't swim competitively, but I did synchronized swim for one semester in High School. I wondered why I had never done it before. I was a natural fish in the water. When a pool was available, I was in the water for most of that day and usually I was underwater.

Once when I was little, my Dad, brothers, and I were sitting in a small Doughboy pool in the backyard. My baby brother slipped and went under. My dad did not panic and grab him. Instead, we all watched as the little guy instinctively began to use his arms to swim. I will never forget that moment.


Belle (from Life of a...) :

I didn't jump but did get in line with the big kids on the slide at our town pool when I was four. My mother 'bout had spell but I popped right up and paddled over to the ladder. That pool was our home away from home in the summers too. They filled it in last year...it was the end of an era to be sure.

Amber Kay :

I saw Jillian, Inc. on my bloglines and I was like, "Who in the heck is that?!?" It's you!!
Love the new look!!

Tonja :

LOVE the look of the blog! Very modern!
I watched the news reports on Dara also and was amazed. What an example she is! Women everywhere should pay close attention!
I have never been a good swimmer. I can take care of my self, but don't know if I could help anyone else out. @ of my boys were great swimmers. Ian was even a Red Cross lifeguard and was certified to teach. Alex was a little wary of the water at first, but now is a good swimmer. Actually, he loves to be in the wter because it helps to hold him up and he doesn't feel handicapped when he is swimming. Needless to say, we are putting in a pool at the Creekhouse. We are going with a salt water pool, though. Have you ever swam in one? They are wonderful!
Now if there is that pool in heaven... I hope there is a sandy beach nearby for those of us who prefer to lay out and watch the other people swimming!

Dianne :

Yeah, I loved watching Dara Torres too...but even more, I LOVE your new look! YEA! How fun!

TheRetroHousewife :

Love your site!

CR :

I'm training for my next olympic triathlon and just love the swimming aspect of it. We simulated an open start for the newbies and i have to say it was a rush. All 30+ starting to swim in one lane! Rock on sista!

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