wimming is life. We begin our lives in water so it seems like a natural transition out of the womb. As a toddler, I hated the water. My parents tried to coax me into the lake where we rented a cottage in the resort area of Muskoka for a number of summers. They tried endlessly, to no avail. I wouldn’t budge. Not even an inch. Until one blazing hot day when I crept in on my own, to their dismay. I was looking for available shade. The water was cool and I crawled to a shady spot under the protuberant abdomen of one of the grandmothers standing knee deep in the shallows trying to cool off. Thus my swimming career, such as it is, began. I went through all of the swimming levels, took Red Cross and Royal Lifesaving courses and eventually, became a swim instructor, which is a pretty cushy job. I’d highly recommend it for any teenager. Pays better than retail, the hours are less restrictive and in the summer, you get to spend a lot of time outdoors working on your tan (with appropriate sun screen and hat, of course). Plus, in a country filled with lakes and rivers, swimming is a necessary skill, a must-have, if only for reasons of pure survival. I tried to sell swimming as a part-time job opportunity to my kids, all of whom, ignored me. Much to their regret later on when they were actually looking for decent paying summer jobs. I can now say—told you so. Swimming is also one of the few sports where, as you grow older, you can still improve. I have experienced this personally. At a somewhat advanced age, I think I am now swimming better than ever. So yes, swimming is life and swimming is for life. The masters group I now swim with have a different motto; it is, Swim or Die!