I found a pool, a great teacher and ace pool buddies. I even found a swimming outfit I like.
I got in the water.
I fucken swam!
My thighs became marvellous.
And then . . . disaster.
I went to the fucken pool for my fucken lesson and Andy - my trusted teacher who doesn't let me away with shit but knows my limitations - wasn't there. Instead there was a teacher I'd never even seen at the pool before. Lucy, she was called. My lovely chum Anne approached her and we explained that I'd been working with Andy, that I'd managed to swim the week before and that the thing I now needed to get to grips with was my breathing while I was swimming.
Cue a miserable hour thrashing up and down with a float. Back to school. She had another pal of mine, Martin, doing the same, although he was actually already able to swim from the beginning. The result was that we both spent more energy trying to navigate the fucking floats than we were able to spend thinking about our breathing. Meh! She turned Martin (an actual swimmer!) into my new Samina!
At one point the following exchange happened:
Her: You don't look very happy.
Me: I'm not! I hate this. I hate swimming and I hate being in the water!
Her: Why you doing it then?
Me: Because it's the one thing I've really tried at that I've not been able to do and I want to be able to do it.
Her: So you're stubborn.
Yes, thanks you fucking bastard. Never mind determined, never mind committed - just opt for the first negative adjective within reach of your tiny tiny brain.
Anyway, that was a shite lesson.
I got out in the end, pissed off and fed up and sick of the whole sorry fucking enterprise. At this, the new teacher panicked a bit and asked me if I'd swim a bit because she didn't want me to regress. I did it. Then the swimmer learners had a race. I won. Ha! Take that. Then I went to the steam room, which was lovely.
The new teacher said that she didn't want me coming back and telling Andy I hated it. Well, here's a thing - I won't be. I'm going to the Scottish Poetry Library for a book launch instead today. This week, swimming can go fuck itself. And then it can fuck itself a little bit more. And then it can fuck off. Possibly forever.