Help! I Can’t Swim

Written by :
Published on : November 10, 2015

 

 

I didn’t learn to swim until I was 11. I was kind of embarrassed about it for a while. I’d go to pool parties and see kids doing flips and jackknifes off the diving board as I sat with my feet in the water on the shallow end, being the “judge” of the diving contest. “Too much splash, 6 out of 10.”

 

It’s not like I didn’t have the access. I grew up Michigan where we have lakes like woah. And many of my suburban buds had pools. Above ground mostly. But pools nonetheless. I can’t really tell you why it took me so long to learn. I remember my parents trying to teach me. I’m sure I was just being a dick and didn’t pay attention to that life-saving lesson on how to doggie-paddle. You know, that thing that all dogs can do naturally.

 

Doggie-Paddle
                                                                Doggie-paddle?

 

Once at summer camp, all the kids in my age group did a swim test. We lined up and then one at a time, were supposed to swim across the pool. As my turn approached, I started to freak out. I asked the kid ahead of me “what are you gonna do?” He calmly said “backstroke.” Jesus! He is so good at swimming that he is gonna go backwards? Kill me now.

 

The kid ahead of me jumped in and did his thing. The lifeguard assigned each kid a “fish” ranking based on how good they were. “Shark” yelled the lifeguard to my backstroke friend. I got in the water and started to flail my limbs, trying to copy what I’ve seen in movies and cartoons. I didn’t get far before I heard “Guppy.” I don’t remember anything after that. I assume everyone laughed at me, I peed my trunks and ran away crying. Either way, this situation had to change.

 

cant_swim
                                                                  This old comic sums it up perfect

 

I asked my mom to sign me up for swim classes. It was summer, so I rode my BMX to the local high school where class was held. I changed, showered and walked out to the olympic-sized pool to find a cute female instructor and half a dozen little kids. Like 5 and 6 year olds. I can feel everyone looking at me. One tough 5 year old asks me “aren’t you a little old for this class?” Him and his buddies all laugh. I answer with “I’m not too old for your mom.” A good comeback, but maybe the context of the joke is lost on a 5 year old. Long story short, I learned to swim, beat up that little bully and got with his mom. I kept taking lessons until I reached Junior lifeguard.

 

Moral of the story: it is never too late to learn. I turned something I was embarrassed about into a strength. So keep trying and learning. And never take shit from a 5 year old.

 

 

 

 


Dear Diary: Sex and Football

Written by :
Published on : October 26, 2015

 

 

The following was written the night of Monday, October 12, 2015.

 

 

 

It’s Monday night and I’m getting laid. I’m also watching Michael Vick move down the field to what will hopefully be the third Steelers victory of the season.

 

Vick on the move

 

“Is this married life?” I ask myself. “Sex with football?” That never happened when I was just the boyfriend. Oh, that’s right. I forgot to mention that I got married two days ago. It was a beautiful ceremony, followed by an amazing reception. My wife looked absolutely gorgeous. Anyway, back to the sex…

 

So here I am, getting laid while I watch Monday Night Football. Which, may I add, is also being shown on a giant screen on the beach outside of our Jamaican bungalow. This all made me think about the last week – the week leading up to the big day. Which, funny enough, was a lot like watching your favorite sports team play in the championship game. Anxiety was heavy, but happiness was in the air. It was a weird combination of joy and frustration. It was Super Bowl 43 all over again.

 

Super Bowl XLIII (43)

 

The Monday before the wedding was my first day off in a long time. I started with a coffee and a Denver omelet at Nick’s Coffee Shop in LA. I love a good Denver omelet, but I don’t care so much for any Denver sports teams. Like the great Joey Porter once said, “They shot me in Denver!” That breakfast would be my last few minutes alone before the week began. It was the morning of the game and I was getting focused. I was “Tebowing” if you will.

 

Tuesday was my wife-to-be’s first day off in a long time. She was stressed. So stressed that she reminded me of that friend who can’t watch the game anywhere but at their home.  Like I said, she was stressed – pacing around the room, spontaneously screaming from time to time. It was scary.

 

We know the feeling

 

Wednesday our family arrived. This was a lot like being at a Super Bowl party with someone who’s never watched football before. You know, the jagoff cheering against your team based on their dislike for their uniform colors. They don’t mean any harm, but they sure bring unnecessary aggravation.

 

Thursday we headed north for the wedding. More family – more friends – more stress. I’m now pacing around, spontaneously screaming while excusing myself from the room. If you haven’t caught on, preparing for a wedding can be a very stressful time.

 

Friday was the final day of running around and the traditional rehearsal dinner. Things were at a peek, but a win was on the horizon. With every bite of my chicken parm, I felt one yard closer to the end zone and the ultimate victory. Sure, I was nervous, but I knew that in 24 hours it would all be over. Victory was in sight.

 

Saturday was the big day. It was finally here; and we were up by 14 and just needed to run out the clock. I was still pacing, but not screaming as much. My wife-to-be, who spent three quarters at home in her “lucky chair” – pacing, screaming and hating the entire coaching staff – had finally arrived at the party. Calm and excited for the upcoming victory lap, we kept it together as the clock ran out and the crowd screamed, “Mozel Tov!”

 

Victory!

 

As the champagne popped and I danced with my wife to the sounds of our favorite Jesse and the Rippers song, I thought about absolutely nothing and smiled. We just won.

 

 


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