Straight From Minneapolis and his Heart …
Jimmy’s Journal Edition 8
Ok, let`s start off at the beginning.
I`m about 5 years old and my parents have dropped me and my 7 year old Sister off at the local indoor pool to start swimming lessons.. I`m scared to death but it`s no big deal at all for my Sister, she takes it in stride. I`m so scared I don`t even go into the boys locker room, I`m hangin` with my big Sister in the girls locker room, because I`m scared! It wasn`t my idea to learn how to swim, it was my parents order to! In those days you followed not all, but the vast majority of your parents wishes..
Well now it`s time to leave the locker room, the group swimming lesson is about to start. As if being scared to death wasn`t enough, I get to see 20 other kids and they see this little kid, me, freaking out because I`m so scared, next to this gigantic indoor pool. Actually it looks more like an ocean when you`re scared and you don`t know how to swim. I`m thinkin` there`s no way I`m going into this pool. Then the instructor begins talking and starts to get us all in the pool, and I`m not goin`, he comes over to me and I`m so scared I can barely breath. I go up another notch in fright and let it all out on this guy. No I didn`t attack, hit, or scratch him. Unfortunately for him, at the precise moment he`s barley an inch from me, I get sick to my stomach and the contents inside of it go all over the startled swim instructor!!! Well that was the end of swim class for the day..
A couple years later my folks started sending me to camp in the summer time. First to day camp for 3 or 4 years, and then when I was around 10 I began going away to overnight camp where you would spend two weeks to a month away from home. I remember I became less afraid of the water outside in a lake and at camp for some reason..
So I`m around 7 or 8 now and enjoying day camp and yes, learning how to swim! To my surprise I wasn`t so afraid anymore. I remember there were steps that each camper took, stages and levels of swimming proficiency. First you were a ‘Beginner’, when you finished that swim course you got your beginner patch, and if you wanted to become an even better swimmer, then you started the ‘Advanced Beginner’ course, and if you passed that course you moved up to the ‘Intermediate’ course, and all the way up to ‘Advanced Lifesaving’ the mountain top!
The moral of the story? If you`re wondering did this little 5 year old kid who was scared to death of the water and got sick all over his first swim instructor at his very first lesson ever become a lifeguard? He did! I took all the classes and passed them and fell in love with swimming on the way. I became a lifeguard, it was a great part time job to have during college!
Today I still swim, all you need is a pair of swim trunks and some nice clean water. Now a days I swim here in Minnesota from late Spring to early Fall. I swim across the lake every day, I just take my time, a nice leisurely swim, nothin` feels better on a beautiful summer day..
So long for now, Jimmy..
All journal entries, videos, and photographic images copyright Jimmy Wilson Photographs. All Rights Reserved.
Born in Minnesota, photographer, filmmaker, writer, and gallery owner, Jimmy Wilson will share tips, advice, and gallery news in a bi-monthly column called “Jimmy’s Journal.”
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