<p>This swimming stuff is turning out to be a piece of cake.</p>
<p>I've learned to push off, and my kicks are becoming smooth and efficient. (The secret is starting the movement at the hips, not the knee, and keeping the splashing to a minimum) My arms are satisfactory. </p>
Look Ma, I'm swimming!
Now that I'm doing the locomotion, so to speak, it's time to add the next step: rolling to the side to breathe. No big deal. I take a deep breath and push off. Kick, kick. Right arm, left arm, roll to the side and breathe---breathe in a snoot full of chlorinated water. I stand up abruptly, splashing, sputtering, and sneezing.
"You alright?"asks Patty with her annoyingly chlorine-free face.
"Well, I didn't drown," I mutter. "Excuse me." I head to the locker room to blow my nose.
I try again. Again I inhale water.
A third time. Same thing.
"Okay," Patty says, "Let's just do your bobs again. Try to get the rhythm of the breathing."
I bob up and down in the water. Deep breath, dunk under, bubbles out of my nose, up to breathe in.
I finish the session just doing what I know how to do: swimming as far as I can go on one breath.
It's not fair! It was all going so well! I was going to master every step with no problems, after that first day I just knew it. I coulda been a a contendah! I coulda been somebody! (e-cookie if you get the reference) Off to the locker room to change.
Back at it in a couple of days.