My Life in the Swimming Pool

Connie Ragen Green
6 min readOct 14, 2019
Connie Ragen Green — My Life in the Swimming Pool

I have discovered that I do some of my best work while swimming in the pool. I think of this as the unbearable lightness of swimming against the almost imperceivable current. This got me to reminiscing about an experience that took place more than half a century ago…

It was the summer of 1960 when I first learned to swim. We were at the Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs for a long weekend, my mother and the man she was dating, David. That pool looked like the entire Pacific Ocean to five year old me. My birthday was coming up in less than two weeks and this trip was presented to me as an early birthday gift. I was impressed and ready to dive in. The missing element was being able to swim.

Over the following four days I had more fun than I knew was possible. I splashed around in the shallow end, put my face underwater but didn’t open my eyes, and made many new friends. In the pool I couldn’t tell if some of them were boys or girls or kids or grownups but it didn’t matter. I was in my own kind of Heaven.

At night when my mother was tucking me into bed in our hotel room I remember telling her it felt like I was still in the pool. I could feel the water all around me and the motion from the waves created by so many people swimming simultaneously. She put some drops in my eyes, itchy and red from the exposure to so much chlorine.

Swimming in the ocean can be an intoxicating experience; you are omnipotent and powerless all at once. The supreme almighty human rendered helpless by a massive wave or a sharp rock or a passing sea jelly. That had been my only experience up until this time. But in the swimming pool the only opponent is another human, or a rogue plastic toy, or the wind, or the lack of air when you go under for too long. When I did go under the water for what felt like forever that weekend there were seemingly scores of people at the ready to lift me up as I coughed it out. The sixties were shaping up to be a magnificent decade in my eyes and from my perspective.

By day two I was determined to learn how to swim. I wasn’t sure what all that entailed but I knew that my goal was to finally get into the deep end of the pool where the older kids and adults preferred to linger. As I turned one last time to see the toddlers and elderly people cautiously making their way down the…

Connie Ragen Green

Online marketing strategist, author, speaker, and publisher working with entrepreneurs on six continents.