The high school I attended – John Glenn HS (you better genuflect when you walk by, or John Glenn will spit right in your eye) – was a really new school when I went there. My sister, who is five years older than me, was in the first graduating class.
To me the most wondrous thing about that school was the pool. It was a “small” Olympic size pool – whatever the fuck that means. The only thing I could find about the size of the pool was an interview with the school principal and that’s what he called it: A small Olympic size pool.
To me it was simply huge. And I loved it.
When the winter winds were blowing, gym class was swimming; and it was pure joy to be swimming while the bitter Michigan winter was freezing our noses and toeses.
And in the summer, I attended SEP (Summer Enrichment Program) and I always signed up for swimming.
That was amazing because there were not very many kids signed up for swimming, so I practically had that whole huge pool to myself.
And I loved swimming.
I was one of those kids who had to be physically pulled out of the water with my blue lips and visible tremors, insisting that I wasn’t cold and no, it was not time to get out of the water.
Two things I could never achieve though – diving off of the racing blocks (any kind of diving into a shallow end made my, immensely practical, brain protest – and doing that swimmer’s turn at the end of the pool. Nope – just couldn’t figure that out. If memory serves, I always ended up with water up my nose trying it.
I also learned that a belly flop from the high board was incredibly painful. Like, lie at the bottom of the pool and wonder if that was how your life ended painful.
I’ve never had the pleasure of swimming in such a big pool since. And I still miss it.
Guess I’ll always long to be a “small” fish in a big pond – or a fat old lady in a huge pool!