Wednesday, August 01, 2007

champion dog paddler of the world

(current beverage: Lambic. It's from Belgium not Germany *gasp*)

I hate water. I really do. I don't mean I hate drinking it or bathing (I rather enjoy soaking in a tub), but I'm just not a huge fan of beaches, so-called lakes that are really rivers, natural springs, pools, water parks, hot tubs etc. I don't even like running around on the lawn with the sprinklers on (unless it's specifically to get my husband excited about lawn work but with fire ants even that can be unpleasant...).

With that said, I am incredibly good at dog paddling.

This probably has to do with how I learned how to swim. When I was 3, my dad just grabbed me out of my mother's arms and tossed me into the Parkland community pool. "To make her tough," he said. Yeah, I learned how to swim pretty quickly...I was also traumatized.

There's also this distinct memory of the time where my family took a day trip to Galveston (the most butt ugliest beach in the world complete with oil slicks and dead jelly fish) on the Gulf Coast. I managed to slip and fall into the murky water and just as I was attempting to come up, a wave washed over the top of my head making it impossible for me to breech. My dad fortunately was near by and pulled me out by my hair and even though I was under water for no more than a few seconds, the feeling of utter terror when I realized I had run out of air and would not be able to surface on my own was terrifying. I think I was 7 or 8 when that happened and I had an almost identical experience during the summer between jr. high and high school at a water park hanging out with my then best friend Jocelyn. Good thing she was a trained life guard.

Anyway, combined with one too many ear infections and a couple of unpleasant kiddo pranks, all of this culminated into me becoming a person who cannot stand putting her head under water.

Today's adventure consisted of hanging out at Barton Springs which apparently reopened for the first time after our long rain season. It's definitely nice, a "crown jewel" of Austin, lovely to look at, yada yada...I just never felt the great need to get into it.

I don't like the sun either.

Let's not forget to add insult to injury when we remember that I also am not particularly stunning in a bathing suit. As we plodded past perfect asses, perky tits, hard tanned bodies and ripped abs to find our patch of rock to put our things on, I was reminded of this repeatedly. Austin is a college town, after all (do large breast float, out of curiosity?). While it's impossible to look hot in this shapeless body of my mine (no ass, no tits, no hips, no waist), I was able to aim for disgustingly cute traipsing around in this ruffly bikini number featuring purple and white gingham print while donning pigtails.

So just imagine, if you will, what I looked like "swimming" after we all managed to inch our way into the frigid 68 degree water. Bill and Anna exchanged curious looks when suddenly T announced with great gusto:

"Cindy Chang! Champion dog paddler of the world!"

For flourish I paddled in a tight circle with my nose in the air while my pigtails dragged in the water behind me like long doggy ears. This trick I am quite proud of. The response was mixed. Anna started laughing like there was no tomorrow. Bill, on the other hand, went: "What's wrong with her????"

My husband explained to his father that that was just how I swam. I loved the touch of pride he had in his voice as he explained this. The first time T saw for himself that I did indeed dog paddle in the pool, he cracked up for a long while and also thought it was the most comical and adorable thing in the world...

"She really needs swimming lessons," Bill offered. He then kept giving me swimming tips.

I explained that I did in fact know how to swim (I was in swim camp in elem school but ear infections put an end to it). I just hated putting my head underwater. I never gave my father-in-law the complicated diatribe I outlined in the beginning of the post so he was now convinced that the real reason I wouldn't put my head underwater was because I didn't want to get my hair wet. Anna countered that I wasn't a vain gal as she floated lazily by on her back soaking in the sun. After a bit, she hollered, "Just leave her alone Bill..."

"You don't think it's cute?" T later asked as I triumphantly padded between the two of them at the astounding rate of 1 ft. per hour.

"No, it's just wrong..."

Anyway, why bother to learn how to swim better when I can be the champion dog paddler of the world?

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Blogger Sammi said...

Breasts do, indeed, float, very nicely :D And I'm a much better dog paddler than anything else, but I've been trying to get better at other strokes at the pool here at the complex so I feel more confident in the water. I've had a lot of near-drowning experiences, so I'm not a fan of the stuff usually.

Thursday, August 02, 2007  
Blogger J said...

mr brown dog approves.

Thursday, August 02, 2007  
Blogger thevitaminkid said...

Don't take this the wrong way, Adzuki, but that really ought to get your husband excited about lawn work! And probably other things. As it should be. ;-) Frankly, I'm not gonna look at that picture again, or *I'm* gonna get excited about lawn work. You needlessly downplay your own beauty.

When I was a kid, my mother took me to swimming classes, and I was always terrified, even though I don't recall any severe frights. Later, when we moved to an apartment building that had an indoor pool that was almost always deserted, I could go in with my dad (and to start with, a floatation collar!). Without a classful of other kids around, or a teacher pushing me to do things I didn't want to do, I got comfortable floating around, and eventually learning to swim, or even diving down to the bottom of the pool with a face mask and fins on my feet.

Then there was swimming class in Junior High, where we were all required to swim naked. Didn't like that. I guess it is the issue of being forced to do something with people you normally wouldn't share a soda or a word of conversation with. Naked. Not my favorite situation.

Apparently I like water, it's people I'm not too fond of. :-)

Thursday, August 02, 2007  
Blogger cchang said...

Thanks for verifying that Sam...I can float okay. Actually I can free style pretty efficiently but I just don't chose to do so. Besides, it's no fun putting one's head in the water when you wear contacts. :P
I think I could even outpaddle Mr. Brown dog, JBRo.

TVK, thanks for the kind words. :) Unfortunately, that picture traumatized my brother a while back (I think T took it 2 years ago...)

Then there was swimming class in Junior High, where we were all required to swim naked.

I hope you're joking. That would not fly well in Texas. If I were in that class, I too would not want to learn how to swim either!

I'm not sure sure if I'd enjoy swimming on my own either. It just isn't a relaxing thing for me. If I'm at a pool I'd rather just people watch and admire the beautiful bodies.

I did get my vitamin D quota under the sun though! And to be honest, soaking in cold natural spring water did feel refreshing....

Thursday, August 02, 2007  
Blogger Sammi said...

I love to swim naked now, but I think if I'd had to do it in junior high, I'd have probably killed myself >.>

Friday, August 03, 2007  
Blogger Mentok said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you sure know how to tell a blog story. Great writing, very entertaining, as always. The mental image of you imitating a dog, ears and all, is hilarious!

Friday, August 03, 2007  
Blogger thevitaminkid said...

I kid you not, bean-girl. We were, as they say, the way God made us. Au naturale. Who knew Iowa had latent nudist tendencies?

Now I do not know the politics of this, but someone didn't like it or someone complained somewhere, because the second or third year, we did get swimming trunks. I still didn't like swimming class. As I said, the water is fine, it's the people *in* the water that ruin the experience for me.

Friday, August 03, 2007  
Blogger cchang said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Mentok.
Sammi, you coming over Monday?

Iowa? Wow...I just can't help but wonder about safety and such. I mean a pool full of nekkid kiddos would be a target for pedophiles. Perhaps that's why the students need to wear swimming trunks now?

Back in the day (I'd say 50's and 60's) it wasn't unusual for the younger ballet students to only wear undies--boys and girls. You'd remain topless so that teachers could see spine alignment and correct usage of muscles in the torso. Needless to say, that's not common anymore. In fact, I recall in college one of my male ballet instructors apologizing to the class that we could only get verbal correction and that he was not allowed to touch us due to fear of sexual harassment allegations.

Sunday, August 05, 2007  
Blogger heavy metal mom said...

I think your father in law is an ass.
The comments on this post are hilarious.
I think I'll plan a trip to Iowa since they
are obviously really into nudity!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007  

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