Monday, May 16, 2005

Swimmingly

Quite an uneventful weekend for a change, passed by rather swimmingly. Just finished watching Swimfan, by the Australian director John Polson, who recently did Hide and Seek. I didn't mind it for a mild Sunday night distraction, seemed better than it should have been with its typical teen thriller format.

It made me think back to when I was swimming at school, though fortunately for me I guess, there weren't any psychotic, overzealous girls after me. I almost wished I hadn't have given it up, until I remembered the up at dawn training sessions in hypothermic temperatures and the constant pressure to take off those few extra milliseconds of your personal best time.

I was especially good at backstroke, even made it to state finals a few times - breaststroke was another story. At Friday swimming club back in primary school, they grouped and ordered the races according to personal best times, so in backstroke I remember I was always in one of the final races, seeming so short and out of place amongst all the high-schoolers. Then straight after the race I had to quickly run back around to make it to the starting blocks in time for breaststroke.

Watching the swimmers on film, I began to wonder at what point in history did humans begin to learn how to swim. In many animals the ability to stay afloat in water is innate, but not so in humans it seems. I can't imagine never having learnt to swim, as is Madison's experience in Swimfan. Like learning to ride a bicycle, it's something you keep for life.


Swimfan

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