Can you swim?

 

Sitting by the neighborhood wading pool is as close as I’ve been to swimming in a long while

Lynn Sherr’s new book, Swim, is an ode to the water.  She writes,

“Swimming stretches my body beyond its earthly limits, helping to soothe every ache and caress every muscle.  But it’s also an inward journey, a time of quiet contemplation, encased in an element at once hostile and familiar, I find myself at peace, able–and eager–to flex my mind, imagine new possibilities, to work things out without the startling interruptions of human voice or modern life.  The silence is stunning.”

It sounds amazing.  It almost makes me want to take up swimming.  It occurred to me as I listened to Sherr on MPR that no one has ever asked me if I can swim with one arm.  I get asked how I do all sorts of things or if I can do them at all, but I can’t recall being asked about swimming.  Well, I’ll answer anyway: I can swim, sort of.  I took lessons as a kid, and I have the basics down well enough.  But I’ve never been a strong swimmer.  Frankly, I assumed that one really couldn’t be a terribly strong swimmer with one arm.  Seems logical, right?

Wrong.

A quick search brought up this video of a kid (with one arm) winning a swimming competition.

I also found this article about another young athlete who swims (and participates in other sports) with an arm that looks a lot like mine.

I hate to be too you-can-do-anything-you-put-your-mind-to, but in my experience, you actually can do whatever you want to do if you want to badly enough.  We surprise each other and ourselves all the time.

Perhaps I will give swimming another chance.  I hope to find that stunning silence of which Ms. Sherr speaks to eloquently in her book.

Have you ever counted yourself out of a sport or other activity because of your physical limitations?  Have you surprised yourself with what you were able to do?

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