When I was growing up, I used to go swimming all the time. We took lessons at the public pool near Oungre, SK (can you believe it's on Google Streetview?). In the change room there I recall talking back to a bully, who was nicknamed "Stu," by asking him if his last name was "Pid." Ah, the wit of tweens. Timeless stuff. I also remember throwing up in that pool a different time after having eaten too much watermelon at the picnic which preceded our swimming. At another pool near my hometown of Estevan, I responded to more bullies by punching the leader in the face and breaking his nose. Not bad for a scrawny 13 year old.
My desire to swim seems to have decreased in inverse proportion to the size of my belly (embarrassment?) and my family (the logistical chaos). But re-reading the above paragraph, it seems that I associate a lot of bad memories with swimming as well. Racking my brain for good memories, I can recall flirting with a girl I liked by swimming under her and tipping her over. It didn't work though; I ended up marrying somebody else.
This year our family took out a membership in a nearby YMCA and my wife has been taking the kids swimming nearly every week. Yesterday (Saturday) I manned up and went with them for only the third time.
I don't particularly dislike swimming, but when holding either an infant or within arm's reach of a toddler the whole time, there's not a lot one can do to make it fun for oneself. Yet it's so clearly fun for them that it feels rather crude for me to say that I don't have fun. And my wife takes great delight in seeing me interact with our children in a way which reminds her of her own pleasant childhood memories.
Perhaps I can organize some family fun activity more in line with pleasant memories from my youth. Food for thought... and possibly another post in this series.