For those that asked how the swimming lessons are going: I’d like to say swimmingly, but that would not be entirely true. Tonight is my third, and the front crawl continues to elude me. I end up gasping for air no matter what I do. The instructor tells me to relax, but I can’t, because DROWNING. My goggles fog up, my ears clog with water, and the other kids are getting better faster. But I am, apparently, a natural at treading water. If only that were an Olympic category. Still, I persevere.


I can add swimming to the list of activities/sports/pursuits I have taken up in middle age at which I will never become more than proficient. There’s golf, of course, which I started playing about 10 years ago. I can get on and off the course without making a complete fool of myself, and I love the clothes, but no one’s yelling “IN THE HOLE!” when I hit the ball. This summer, I managed to develop golfer’s elbow without ever breaking 100, which doesn’t seem fair.


There’s piano, which I took up about the same time. As a pianist, I’m a better golfer. A decade of lessons, and I’m still in Grade 7. I also suffer from paralyzing stage fright, as you might already know, so my career as a concert pianist has been severely truncated. I heard a rumour that I would improve tremendously if I actually practiced more frequently, but that’s crazy talk.


What else? Well, there’s cycling. I’ve done the Ride to Conquer Cancer four times, so in that respect I’m worthy, but I rarely cycle just for fun, and I’m not fast enough to keep up with the big wheels. I ski, but again, not beautifully, and now I have an injured knee that requires physio, so who knows how that’s going to go. (I have a rip in my left meniscus. No, I don’t know how I did that, and until a month ago I didn’t know where my meniscus WAS.)


As I contemplate the coming season, I realize that my wounded knee will restrict me to swimming, piano and walking the dogs. In fact, it struck me the other night, as I was putting in my retainer, that I am living the life of a 12 year old. Swimming lessons on Monday, piano lessons on Tuesday, remember to walk the dogs, and do your homework.


Which I just did. Time to not practice the piano.

Me as an actual 12 year old, already filled with regrets.

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