I wasn't thinking about my breathing or my stroke or all of the things I should have been thinking about. It was so choppy and crowded. I was basically doggy paddling my way through. I was just grateful that I could tread water. So, what I was actually thinking was "Thank you, Aunt Jo Ann."
It was my Aunt Jo Ann who taught me how to swim at her pool in Patricia Village in Clifton, New Jersey. My parents didn't have a pool and my mother doesn't know how to swim and is deathly afraid of water. So, if it weren't for Aunt Jo Ann, I might've ended up being one of those women who sits by the shallow end of the pool with only her feet in the water, occassionally dipping her hands in and rubbing water on her arms. What fun is that?
But, when I was 6, Aunt Jo Ann doused me in Coppertone and told me everyone could float and that's why I shouldn't be afraid of the deep end. I was scared and skeptical at first but, like most things, before I knew it, I was jumping off the diving board and doing other tricks. "Watch me do a back flip." "Watch me do a front flip." "Watch. I'm going to do a front flip and then a back flip and then a front flip." She probably wished then that she never taught me to swim.
So, after doggy paddling in Lake Michigan, the bike and run were much smoother sailing. And, when I got to the finish line, I heard someone calling my name and when I looked around, I saw my Aunt Jo Ann, cheering and crying.
Today, I am grateful ~
1/ to my Aunt Jo Ann for, of course, teaching me how to swim
2/ and for patiently watching all of my pool party tricks
3/ and for just being a great aunt. I love you, Aunt Jo Ann. Happy Birthday!!
Me and G, ruling the pool at Patricia Village