Nice Column One story by the LAT's Kurt Streeter on confronting his fears of the water so he can help his two-year-old learn to swim. He joins other adults from around the city in a teacher's South Los Angeles pool.
The tall, tattooed black man standing before me in his swimming pool has no patience for excuses. Our bodies, he says, are remarkably light. Our lungs are like life jackets. He lies back. Sure enough, he floats.
"Your turn," he says.
I hesitate. The hair stands on the back of my neck. Trying to keep calm, I lie back — but the next few seconds feel like forever. Water washes over my shoulders.
My muscles tighten, my arms feel like logs and my legs meekly flutter. My face drops beneath the surface and warm, salty water streams down my mouth, which is locked open in hard effort. I twist toward the bottom.