Super Shark

2 Aug

If you know nothing about me, know that I am a fish out of water. I LOVE swimming and have enjoyed being in the water all summer long for as far back as I can remember.

One of my very first swimming instructors was my mom. I was 4 years old and she was a teacher at the preschool I attended. But our story tonight happens about four years later at day camp….

Summer Day Camp was held at the houses of the Co-owners of the previously mentioned preschool. They are sisters who live next door to each other and also happen to go to my church. And, because it will be important to my story later, my mom is now the director of day camp.

What’s not to love about Day Camp? Crafts, hiking, fishing, free time, seeing friends who attend different schools and…swimming lessons in a beautiful in-ground, shallow end and super deep end pool. My favorite times of the day were spent in that pool – swim lessons in the morning and free swim in the afternoon.

When campers arrived at the beginning of the summer, we were each given a swim test and placed into the appropriate swim class for lessons. You’re going to love the names of the swim classes, I have a smile just thinking about them. Here we go:

Beginners – Advanced

Tadpole
Goldfish
Shallow-end whale
Deep-end whale
Shark
SUPER SHARK

As I mentioned, I am a fish out of water so I easily tested out of the beginner groups and quickly found myself as a “cool kid” swimming in the deep end of the pool. I was learning things like standing diving from the edge of the pool, more advanced swimming strokes and how to tread water.

Now, Day Camp was held outside on the combined property of the two preschool owners. We had an all sides open shelter where we met as a camp every morning and evening, however it didn’t provide proper shelter during thunderstorms and other extreme weather situations. During these times, the campers were divided between the two houses – girls in one, boys in the other, to watch movies or play cards/board games until the storm passed.

It was on one of these days our story actually begins. It had been raining most of the day and we had been cooped up inside. We missed our swimming lesson, but as luck would have it the skies cleared in time for free swim! I was so excited to get in the pool that I didn’t bother putting my tennis shoes on all the way or worrying about tying my laces. After all I was only heading to the changing room in the basement of the house we were in. I just kind of shoved my feet in and started doing the shuffle down the cement driveway – which is on a slight hill.

I bet you can see where I’m going with this, I was being reckless in my excitement to get to the pool and I tripped on my own shoelaces, down I went. I tried to brace myself on impact and broke both bones in my right wrist in the process. OUCH!!!

Tears streaming down my cheeks and pain shooting through my arm like I have never experienced before I went to find my mom. She just knew by the angle at which I was holding my arm that it was broke, but as she was the camp director she couldn’t leave or do anything more for me at the time than give me some pain killers, luckily there was only an hour or so left in the camp day. And then she had a brilliant idea – go sit in the pool with your wrist in the cool water for BOTH free swims. (Awesome, except for the fact the pool was filled with kids running and splashing and jumping and bumping – not ideal for a girl with a freshly broken wrist, but I went anyways and it did help it feel a bit better.)

Went to the doctor and he confirmed it, a very nice clean break. Lucky for me it was summer and I’m left-handed! Phew! And I managed to get myself a lovely hot pink WATERPROOF cast! It was as if they wrapped my arm in bubble-wrap before putting the cast on.

Now, near the end of the summer each year, the camp had an overnight event which was kicked off with a swim show for the parents to showcase what we learned. The show begins with the tadpoles and works it’s way up to the most advanced swimmers with the coolest routines, the SUPER SHARKS! I was determined to be in that group for the swim show, and no cast was going to stop me. This was my year.

I don’t remember everything required to pass the test to be a Super Shark, but what I can remember is: a running dive off the diving board, fireman’s jump (don’t let your head go under), tread water for twenty minutes without stopping and swim the length of the pool without stopping. You can imagine how exhausting that, plus everything I can’t remember, would be for a normal little 8 year old, now try adding a 10 pound fully-soaked cast.

I am pleased to announce that on the VERY last day of testing, cast and all, I became a SUPER SHARK!

It’s one of the proudest moments from my childhood and to this day it gives me great pleasure to be counted as a day camp top swimmer!

Zebra Garden
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2 Responses to “Super Shark”

  1. The Waiting August 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Wahoo for you, the super shark! ;D

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea | The Undercover Princess - August 31, 2013

    […] I’ve mentioned before, I am a fish out of water. I love being in the water. And to be honest, I’m not sure where this love for the water came […]

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