Swimming in a Summer Sea of Cutaneous, Pustular Interruptions

                                   (photo thanks to Claudia Allen)


I stood there and peered through the fence watching the cutest boy in town making a spectacular dive into the town pool and melted. The summer had begun and I had yet to make decisions between sitting at home reading my books or doing something really special.  Would it be sitting under a tree reading the latest Nancy Drew or would learning how to be an Olympic style swimmer be my choice. I wanted to stand on the diving board, jump into the air and amaze my friends and I had all summer to do it. No one was going to stand in my way even though I was petrified of water.


Anyone that knows me is quite aware of my fear of anything to do with water. It started the day my late mother stood me on the end of a lake pier much like from Patty McCormick from the Bad Seed. Over and over she told me not to stare into the water less my reflection pull me in. Of course I stared into the water, fell in, and needed to be rescued.






After telling my best friend about my summer vacation dreams she told me I should start small by conquering a lake first. So the next Sunday at Selby Lake I slowly ventured into the water inch by inch. I thought that swimming might not take all that long to learn until one of my male friends came roaring out of the lake covered in blood suckers.


As I stood on terra firma and watched a few men try to burn the suckers off his body with a lighter I suddenly thought that this might not be the ideal way to enjoy my summer vacation. After sharing my summer dream with my parents they insisted I should enroll in swimming lessons. That first day I stood there feeling quite alone in my ruffled flowered one piece shuddering from fear and disgust.


Not only am I afraid of water but I have an issue with feet, germs and wetness. After exiting the change room I had to figure out how to walk to the mandatory shower and exit without my feet touching the floor. I tried very earnestly to put my foot down on the wetness of the concrete but all I could feel was imaginary bacterial ooze crawling through my toes.  I closed my eyes, ran under the shower as quick as I could and then stood by the end of the pool.








I actually stayed right beside the pool for about 7 days and then graduated to sitting on the edge until the instructors became very concerned. Was Linda ever going to swim or would she end her summer vacation still being a landlubber? Finally one day I courageously stood on the ladder and slowly descended into the blue water. For another two weeks I spent most of my time in the water but desperately clutching the edge of the pool with my hands.


Every lesson I would assume the same position until one day I made miraculous headway. As I approached the pool one morning for lessons I saw the town fire truck parked right next to it. It seems that someone either polluted the water with their bacterial laden feet or there had been way too many “accidents” in it. The fire trucks were filling the pool that was now only 4 inches deep and I quickly ran through the germ laden floor, down the ladder and went into the pool. With the water lapping dangerously around my ankles I mimicked every swimming style known to man air guitar style. I was finally in my element and was achieving my summer goal. I was swimming!





As the water slowly filled the pool I became more comfortable and after a few weeks I was suddenly swimming in the deep end. One day I decided to venture up to the diving board and with coaxing friends behind me I jumped in. I remember going to the bottom quite quickly and then after I reached the top I screamed with accomplished delight until I saw the cutest boy in town dive off the board heading for me. There in slow motion his lower half and my head seemed to become one as he hit the water hard. We wrestled in the water for what seemed hours to get free and his feet always seemed to be in my face. After I escaped I left the pool and decided to go home still feeling somewhat triumphant that I had met my summer vacation goal.


To this day I do not swim and still have fear of water but my biggest fear was met that very day I achieved my first diving board jump. You see a week later I had a strange rash on my face that grew with the speed of light. That day in the pool I had contacted what is called Staphylococcus Aureis or in layman’s terms- Impetigo. Some people blamed the water but in my mind I knew where I got it from. I am positive to this day it was the cute boys' bacterial infected feet that ended up ruining my perfect summer vacation. Anyways, good thing I never had a crush on that boy as if his feet were that yucky one has to wonder what the rest of him was like.




Linda Seccaspina 2012

Actual 1920's photos from my photo collection at Ocean Beach, Ca.

I woke up at 3 am and did a photo blog about water to accompany this one..:)










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Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 25, 2012 at 10:28pm

Mary.. that is one scary story....yikes

Comment by Mary Katherine Manuel on January 25, 2012 at 10:16pm

My parents would not let me go in the water until I was 12 years old. The first time I did it I jumped off a dock where the water was supposed to be 4 feet deep. It was more like 14, I had tennis shoes on because it was rocky and I sunk like one to the botton. It took me 10 more years before I went in the water again. I took swimming lessons at the YWCA with little kiddies. Now I can float and do an award winning dog paddle.

another great story dear Linda!

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 25, 2012 at 9:26pm

LOL Matt

Comment by Matt Paust on January 25, 2012 at 9:24pm

Water creeps me out, too, but I enjoy creeping out scantily clad females as I ogle them on the beach.

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 25, 2012 at 2:22pm

I know Kevin.. I think thats my fear too.:)

Comment by Kevin Army on January 25, 2012 at 2:22pm

I'm an awful swimmer, but I love swimming, which I don't do very often. I've thought of joining a gym with a pool, but I don't know about pools where that many people swim. So I understand. Great story.

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 25, 2012 at 11:34am

Creekend.. always good old days hahah

Thanks Steve 

Sheila: still in me somewhere

Marsha: yes it was

Kenny: I know.. its amazing hahaha

Tink:Wow.. I had no idea

Comment by Steve Yaver on January 25, 2012 at 10:17am

A great post...

Comment by Sheila Luecht on January 25, 2012 at 9:56am

Ah, fear of water. Great post.

Comment by Marsha Shearer on January 25, 2012 at 8:38am

Let's face it.  Irrational fear defies logic.  But you decided that wasn't going to be who you were anymore.  You faced your fear and overcame it.  And it's ok to feel a bit uncomfortable on or near water as long as you determine to move through it.  Taking that ferry was a major accomplishment.


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