Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A swimmer's Crhistmas gift

22 December

By way of background, although I've increased my swimming a lot lately, I've been afraid to do the flip turn that other swimmers do with such ease and that I used to be able to do--but had a bad experience with this kind of turn about ten years ago--and have never wanted to do them again. But the coaches of my masters' team have been urging us to try them, and so I decided I would learn--and got a very wonderful instructor/sport psychologist to help me (Rebecca Smith--I hope she doesn't mind being mentioned!)

She was extremely patient and helpful not only in showing me the mechanics of the turn but in facing the fears I was experiencing.

So as a kind of gift to her, I'm sharing this poem here (and maybe elsewhere).

Flip turn lessons

Look up at your toes
from underwater, fluorescent light shocks.
Memories of somersaults, safe inside
amniotic fluid. Time getting closer. Not ready. Frozen.

She calms me. Breathe.
Baptism at the pool, no priest
needed. Submerged,
we are not in a hurry.

One movement, then another. Fear
dissolves. Time now.
She is a midwife, whatever she calls herself,
turning me over, head in position. No breech
 birth here.

The moment comes. Delivered.

--Diane McManus


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