Monday, December 30, 2013
All coaches quickly learned never to put my brother with me in the same lane. We would race each other and then try to pass each other, grabbing an ankle and pulling backward, or pushing down on the flat of the other’s back and swimming over.
I was a competitive swimmer with all heart and no talent.
My brother was a swimmer who was forced by my mother to join in the interest of weight control and hygiene.
No matter how hard I tried, my sister and brother breezed their way to ribbons and medals and “A” times, while I immersed myself in “The Physics of Swimming,” watching swim meets, and fantasizing about going to a transformative swim camp in Florida, and hopeful fictions of growing my petite hands and feet into retractable flipper-like appendages.
Needless to say, I was not able to genetically or biomedically engineer myself, but I did learn how to deal with disappointment, and how to lose races – gracefully and ungracefully.