‼‼‼‼Ask yourself a question, are your kids or grandkids good swimmers? I was a pretty good swimmer. Still am. But my kids are average at best in the water. I know we are not supposed to tell kids they are not good at something, don’t hurt their self-esteem, right? But today, I want to tell my two boys that they suck at swimming. You both should limit yourselves to the local pool, or be with others at a beach or on a boat that are sober and can be capable of helping if something should go wrong. Wear your lifejacket on the boat. You see, water is as lethal as it is fun. Waters indifference to your survival can never be under-estimated. With barely a ripple you or someone you love could be gone. I was an idiot around water when I was a kid, and into my adulthood. I swam across things if I thought I could. Rivers, Lakes, over to the other side I would go. Many times I convinced friends to join me. Many times I wasn’t completely sober. We got lucky, nothing ever happened to us. Our rivers and lakes where I live are usually fed by a glacier. They are cold and stay cold for most of the spring. I think of having my breath taken away when I would dive in and be shocked by the chill. I remember the lethargy as the water pulled strength from me, although I didn’t recognize it at the time. It was so much fun. Yesterday, a 17 year old kid drowned in the very same river I swan across countless times as a kid. The Green River comes out of the mountains and never really gets warm. He made it across, but on the way back he slipped under and was gone. Barely a ripple. The search for him will resume today. Now, I don’t know this kid or anything about him. I don’t know if his family told him not to swim in cold water or not. He made the same decision I did for probably the same reason. It was hot, and swimming in the river is fun. Every year I see the same variation of this story. My work at a regional cable news station has a certain rhythm to it. Every Thanksgiving it’s black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping season, and every spring it’s the multiple drownings in the cold waters of the northwest. Most of the time it’s barely even mentioned after the first few die. If you are looking to start exercising, or want to change a current work out a bit and are not sure where to begin, think about swimming. It’s low impact and a head to toe workout. It’s damned hard too. It’s also a good place to play with your kids or grandkids. Getting them in swim lessons can save their lives. Being realistic about their abilities can save their lives. Swimming is inconvenient. You gotta go to the pool or drive to the beach. Don’t forget your towel and your goggles. Get over the cottage cheese cheek that may sneak out the side of your suit, or the bit of a gut that may hang over the top. Nobody cares. I promise. I’ve seen some less than Kardashian figures at Allen York Park on Lake Tapps. We all survived. Teach Your family to swim and respect the water. Make sure they understand the risks of cold water. Wear your speedo like the King of the beach. Chicks dig a bad man like that.
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