I’m a pretty decent swimmer. I’m confident in the water, and will take you on in a race, you know, if you need me to. I float like a champ, can complete a somersault without getting water up my nose, have been known to play a little volleyball in the big fancy pools, and have a killer cannon ball. I can water ski, and even paddle board without falling off ..too often. Basically, when it comes to swimming and water sports, I don’t embarrass my kids, too much. Unless you hand me a snorkel and mask.
To me, that innocent little snorkel and mask looks as dangerous as any weapon. It is simply a plastic mask of death covering your eyes and nose, eager to snuff out your last breath. That tube shoved in your mouth? It’s just there for giggles! For some unexplainable reason I can not get over the claustrophobic, panicky feeling when that mask goes over my face and that little
HUGE mouthpiece is required to go in your mouth. Seriously. You are supposed to be able to breathe through that rubber smelling tube? And that mouth piece that you’ve borrowed has been in how many mouths? GROSS. And can you really tell me I’m the only one to notice that the mouth piece fits in your mouth the same way the tray for X-rays at the dentist does. Shiver and NO. It’s all so unnatural.
So clearly I have a really positive and healthy attitude about snorkelling! This is just a wonderful gift to pass on to my tween girls, you know, especially because I’m a travel writer and we are heading down to the Turks and Caicos in October. Only one of the best places in the world to snorkel. So today I bring to you:
How to snorkel and not die. (At least in the pool in your own backyard.)
*Disclosure This is not a picture of me. This is my stunt double SweetGirl Age 12
Step 1: Buy your own snorkel kit. The importance of this? No other dirty humans have put their mouths on that snorkel!
Step 2: Take your girls into the back yard and tell them how much fun snorkelling is going to be and that you are going to learn together. (mind over matter people)
Step 3: Fake it until you make it.
-This may include starting with just the mask! (not that I’m pointing a finger at myself) Deep breath, stay calm.
-Once you can swim with just that mask on. Brave up like a big girl and put that nasty dentist like mouth piece in your mouth. Go ahead and dry heave if you have to. Your kids will think it’s funny. Eventually realize you are thinking way too much about this stupid piece of plastic. Put it in your pie hole and dive under the water all at once. Concentrate on your breathing and nothing else. Swim one length of the pool, then maybe another. Call it a victory! Repeat the next day.
*Of course if you are a tween girl you just go for it and are fishing dimes off the bottom off the pool like you are part mermaid.
Step 4: When you travel, take your own mask and snorkel with you. Know your limitations. Ain’t no way I’m putting someone else’s snorkel in my mouth. Still count this as winning.
Step 5: Congratulate yourself for teaching your girls how to conquer your fears (slowly but surely) and pat yourself on the back for not dying while snorkelling.