swimming

All posts tagged swimming

WATER BABY

Published July 24, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Feel free to swim around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Many thanks to K Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for hosting this challenge every week. Facilitating a weekly commitment that often requires more effort than meets the eye. I doff my swim cap to you, Karen and Josh. 

Great Barrier Reef

While the photo is from the Pegman prompt, I confess, I swam far afield. As often happens, the research trail leads where I least expect. The ideas came to me while swimming. Like the protagonist in my story, I’m a water baby. I considered what my goggles allow me to clearly see, such as the watery ceiling when I flip turn. So I considered the history of swim goggles and ended up with the following story. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

WATER BABY

            Anna helped her daughter take off her wet clothes. “Gertie, my little pollywog, whatever am I to do with you?”

            The child shivered. “I wanted to swim and I couldn’t find the ocean.”

            Anna bit her lip and wrapped a warm towel around her. “A horse trough is no substitute for the sea, liebling.”  

***

            Anna Ederle’s heart swelled as tickertape floated over her twenty-year-old daughter who waved to adoring fans lining Manhattan’s streets shouting, “Trudy! Trudy!”

            Slathered with lanolin and olive oil, Gertrude had conquered the English Channel in 14 hours and 31 minutes, beating records previously set by men.

            The press sang her praises. President Coolidge even invited her to the White House.

            Yet, she’d dodge the accolades in favor of a long swim. Anna grinned, remembering Gertie’s words when her brother pulled her from the horse trough.

            “When I’m in the water, I’m not in this world.”

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Want to know more? Click Here

 

Voice of a Spanish Dancer-Birthday Strokes

Published September 4, 2013 by rochellewisoff

Copy of Mermaid

 With each swim stroke I stretch and roll my body from side to side, releasing tension into the water.  It’s my birthday. Number six-oh on the hit parade. At the end of the first length I somersault, flip onto my back and push off the side of the pool wall.

            My parents gave me a Chatty Cathy for my sixth birthday. Ever notice she had the same voice as Talking Tina on the Twilight Zone?

            I reach the opposite end of the pool, turn slowly and deliberately, allowing the water to suspend me. The sun shines through the liquid ceiling and bathes the concrete and mosaic lines with refracted light. I push off the wall with my feet.

            On my tenth birthday, my dad opened a bank account for me with a dollar for each year. I felt very grown up with my passbook in hand.

            Missing the pool’s edge I falter in the next flip-turn. Water fills my nose and stings for a moment. A few strokes later the sensation passes.

            One chilly afternoon, almost three months after my first two-digit birthday, the world changed with the president’s assassination. Months later the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan and puberty appeared on my horizon.

            Right, left, breathe to the right. Left, right, breathe to the left. There’s a rhythm to everything.

            My sixteenth birthday passed without notice. No party. Hardly a nod from my parents. Why does this still hurt? It happened over half a century ago. Get over it, old girl. Move on.

            Two laps, then three, I switch to a new stroke at each turn. Freestyle. Backstroke. Breast stroke.

            At twenty one, I held my six-month old son in my arms. By my thirtieth we’d multiplied that number by three sons.

            Back to freestyle stroke I swim the length without taking a breath.

            The Gulf War called my husband back to active duty Navy. The boys grew in his absence without taking a breath. Upon his return, I found a job as a cake decorator in a grocery store. My boss hid in the walk-in cooler to decorate a cake for my fortieth birthday.

            I submerge and turn in the water, then surface for a gulp of air. Swimming on my back, I count strokes and ceiling tiles so I don’t bump my head on the pool’s edge.

            My fiftieth birthday came and went virtually unnoticed. My middle son married, a year later the eldest also married. The youngest left home to pursue his music. We were blessed with a granddaughter. In the midst of it all I discovered my latent passion for writing.

            Like water, life rushes by. I don’t feel older, but my mirror tells a different story.

            One last time I flip, dive underwater, skim the pool floor and ask myself, “What will I be when I grow up?”

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Beside my special birthday this week, Diana Nyad, an incredible woman realized her dream at the tender age of 64. Four previous failed attempts didn’t deter her. I doff my swim cap to your, Diana! To read more click here.

Thank you, Diana, for the birthday gift of hope and determination.  You made my day!

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