Ugh, those were the worst two words of my childhood. It was the time when my friends and I would have to stop our underwater tea parties and relay races to evacuate the pool for the adults. On the plus side, we would get quarters from our mothers for the concession stand to buy push pops and corn nuts and then spread ourselves out on the hot concrete to bake.
I was on a swim team for 10 years growing up. I loved every minute of it: the practices and the swim meets where my friends and I would play endless games of Go Fish while catnapping between races on Strawberry Short Cake sleeping bags. When our eyes would burn from the chlorine, our moms would put milk in them with tiny eyedroppers, and by fall my hair would be so green and damaged that I would have to get a new pixie cut for school.
There was just one tiny problem – I was a pretty terrible swimmer. My birthday wasn’t a great “swim birthday,” so I was always very small for my age group, but I didn’t care. I LOVED it. I would flip and flop my way down the pool, grabbing the lanes for frequent rests during races. I never finished in first place, but I would hang my 4th (or 5th or 6th) place ribbons on my bedroom wall with pride. Most of our home videos captured me dumping water out of my goggles and asking, “Did I lose again, Daddy?” But, really, I just loved the pool, my friends, and the mermaid games. It wasn’t about winning.
So even if you can’t swim that well or you’re insecure about a little winter weight gain, grab your floaties and head to the pool! If I had cared about what people thought, I would have missed some of the best summers of my life. No one is going to judge. Plus, you’ll be too busy having fun to care. Take a leisurely dip. Belly flop off the high dive. The adult swim is calling you.
Robyn’s adventurous spirit has drawn her to such exotic destinations as Dubai, Costa Rica and Schenectady, NY. Her most treasured items include the denim hat she worn when she won a Debbie Gibson look alike contest in ’89, her copy of Reality Bites, and the McDonalds Happy Meal Muppets glass that has miraculously survived three cross country moves. You can follow Robyn on Facebook at www.facebook.com/robyn.pottorff!