Pool toe

When we were kids, we spent the entire summer in the pool.

We would bounce around in the water for hours on end, using our feet to push off the sides so many times that we would get blisters on our toes. By the time we got out, pruned and sunburnt, our feet would be bleeding from scraping them on the concrete so much. But we didn’t care. Mom called it pool toe.

I remember how we used to eat breakfast as fast as we could, and then we would play rock-paper-scissors to see who got to jump in first. We swam from morning until night, only pausing for a lunch break of watermelon and pretzels.

Photo credit: Resources2.news.com

Your hands always shriveled up faster than mine did. You used to tell me it meant we were turning into fish, and I was convinced it was true. You also swam faster than I did, but sometimes, if I was lucky, you’d let me win some of our races.

Whenever there was a breeze it would get too cold in the water. To warm up we’d haul ourselves out of the pool and lay with our stomachs down on the concrete deck, like lizards on rocks.

I remember my tangled, sun bleached hair, and the smell of the special shampoo Mom made me use that prevented it from turning green from the chlorine. I remember family commenting on how bloodshot my eyes were, but I wasn’t bothered. I didn’t mind if my eyes were a little bit red and sore, so long as I could avoid the inconvenience of strapping on goggles.

We had changing lights for when we swam at night. I would stand on the diving board, staring down into the water below. The green water meant there were alligators lurking; so I obviously couldn’t jump in, for danger of being eaten. Blue meant sharks, so once again there were some risks. But when the water was pink, it was clear of all man-eating creatures, so it meant I was free to dive in.

When we were kids, we thought days like those would last forever.

I miss it. When we didn’t care if our fingers were shriveled up like prunes, or if our noses were bright red and peeling, or if we had pool toe.

 

 

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Drowning

“Swim deeper,” they said. “You’ll be able to breathe.”

I’m drowning – the water is swirling over my head, pushing me down and shortening my breaths. I’m told that I’m doing fine, but in reality I’m plummeting.

I’ve been told that this is normal, that everyone should be able to breathe when pushed underwater. However, I know that something’s off.

Maybe I can learn to live while drowning, and pretend that it’s as easy for me as it is for everyone else. But there is a solution, and it’s the realization that I’m ten feet under that helps me to get there.

When underwater, it’s easy to pretend that I’m above, and to fake it until I truly do well. I can either learn to live under the surface, or swim to the top. It is on the surface that I can succeed.

“Swim back up,” they say, “You can make it.”

Photo Credit: http://www.c2.staticflickr.com

My idol

Jordan Hasay is an amazing runner who runs for University of Oregon, which has one of the best cross country and track teams in the nation.

She was born in Fontana, California and went to Mission College Prep school in Southern California. Her father used to play basketball in college, and her mother was a national swimmer in England. Jordan was selected 2008 Girls High School Athlete of the Year by Track&Field News and by Gatorade.

She has been unbelievably fast ever since her youth. She set the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics Youth record in the 1500m and 3000m run. Also, she could’ve ran World Junior Championship in 2006 to represent the US, but she was too young at the age of 14.

During her freshman year in high school, she won the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships, becoming the second freshman to win in the history.

During her junior year, she ran the US Olympic Trials breaking the national high school record for 1500m and qualified for the finals.

She runs 6 to 8 miles per day along with swimming 3 to 5 times a week, weight lifting twice a week and biking twice a week. That’s incredible, and I don’t think many people can manage to continue this workout.

Go Jordan!!!

The Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort: Kailua-Kona

Some people go to Hawaii to tan, relax, and drink piña coladas on the beach. Not my family.  We probably spend equal amounts of time in and out of the water.  Hawaii itself is very important to us.  My parents lived in Haena on Kauai before they adopted me.  The first vacation I remember in Kauai.  My twins sisters learned to swim in Kona and I got my dive certification there, July 2007.

Front of the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, Kailua-Kona

Years ago my mom found this beautiful little hotel  and she and my dad went snorkeling there.  She remembered it and booked us a room at  Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort in Kailua-Kona, October of 2003. It’s this GORGEOUS, amazing hotel right on Keauhou Bay.  There is a small snorkeling beach, as well as a little set of stairs that lead directly into the water.  The hotel includes deluxe ocean-view rooms, excellent free daily breakfast for guests, and an incredible seaside restaurant with the most spectacular view of the sunset in all of Hawaii.