U is for underwater
I loved swimming when I was a kid, whether it was in a friend’s pool, at swim lessons at the middle school, or in the ocean, I was a water kid for sure. I wished we had a pool so much but a number of my elementary school friends had them; we lived in South Florida after all. So there were many summer afternoons that we spent all afternoon swimming, playing Marco Polo or Categories, and just coming up with silly games.
I remember my friend and I doing this thing where we’d both go under the water then try to say something and see if we could tell what the other was mouthing. Were we ever right? Probably not!
I also remember doing a lot of snorkeling at the beach, when the Atlantic was calm and clear, my dad helped me put on the big clunky mask and helped me understand the snorkel and I’d look around for little fishes and find shells buried in the sand.
I loved the disorienting feeling of being under the waves; somewhat more peaceful than being above them. But underneath, with just the white noise of the water rushing all around, it felt otherworldly.
These days, I don’t like going under the water very much. Too annoying for my hair and I find I don’t care much for swimming. We did it one summer for exercise and I do think it improved my lung capacity but I didn’t like the hassle of it. But oh, as a kid, how I did love it. I was on the middle school swim team all three years, specializing in back stroke. I won a lot of first place medals then.