Thursday, August 21, 2008

Next Lesson: Marco Polo

I go swimming with the Bosnians!

My trainer and her friend have invited me to a local pool. Although the purpose is to work out (bleh), I hardly mind. The smell of chlorine wafts over the deck as we enter. I'm at home in the water.

Swimming brought the DNB and I together on our first date. We both swam competitively for years, and shared stories of carb binges, favorite strokes, and fastest times. Recently, Michael Phelps joined Bear Grylls as the second male to appear on both my and the DNB's Celebrity Freebie List (yeah, Phelps Phans Phorever).

The girls are totally unfamiliar with the water. Her friend, my trainer tells me, just learned how to swim to the bottom of the pool and glide along it. They both hold their noses.

Suddenly, I'm the expert.

I show them how to flip their hair back to make it look like George Washington's wig. I try, unsuccessfully, to teach them how to do handstands and somersaults. They don't know what a somersault is, and their legs flail mightily as they try to stand on their hands. We do laps, back and forth down the length of the pool. They watch me carefully, then ask if I can swim "female."

I know I'm not Graceful Like A Butterfly, but I had no idea my backstroke gave off such mannish vibes.

"Like a frog," my trainer explains.

"You mean breast stroke?" I ask, relieved that they didn't peg me as The Hulk of swimming.

"In my country, we call it female because only the girls swim it," she says. Interesting. "If a boy were to swim like that, everyone would laugh at him."

Neither of them know how to swim freestyle, because that stroke is "male." But they're in America now, so I teach them.

No comments: