Central outdoor pool

Central outdoor pool, Swangard, North Vancouver 2018

Central outdoor pool, Swangard, North Vancouver 2018


I was 10 years old before I could swim.

I was happy swimming around under the surface, but as soon as I tried to swim with my head above the water, I struggled to keep afloat. There was a teacher at my primary school who was the one who finally got me swimming properly. I don’t remember his name. I do remember that he was a very tall man. 6’ 6”. He had short dark hair, a moustache and a neatly trimmed beard. He stooped, I guess, from spending most of his adult life bending to listen to people shorter than him. The world isn’t made for the very tall or the very small. I wish I could remember his name. Once I was swimming I just kept going, in every lesson, every week for the rest of the school year, collecting all the distance badges. 25m, 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and so on until 1/2 mile, one mile until two miles. Two miles meant swimming 128 lengths without touching either end of the pool. A boy in my class, Geoffrey Soper and I, were the last to finish. For some reason, I remember his name. When I hauled myself out of the pool and tried to stand, my legs were so expended of energy I almost collapsed under my own weight. I was exhausted but happy. It was quite an achievement.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.