I'm fortunate to have found a group of people who go to the outdoor pool at 8 a.m each day to paddle and chat before the killer midday sun appears. Fortunate, because by 10 or 11 a.m. anyone whose brain isn't already fried scurries back to their air conditioning, computers, and TVs. If one wants to socialize and get some sunshine here, one must do it early.
I like to swim laps, which is best done in the indoor pool because lap lanes are printed on the floor (I tend to wander like a drunken sailor in my lane when doing the backstroke) and because the previously mentioned social folks are randomly bobbing and walking all over the outdoor pool. I'm having to give my sore right shoulder a break for a while, so I decided to water-walk with the happy, chatting group.
The shallow part of the salt water outdoor pool is four feet deep. (You're aware of the buoyancy properties of salt water?) I'm 4'9" and so buoyant that many years ago my scuba instructor gave a certain part of my anatomy an unflattering name that referred to the near-impossibility of getting it submerged. He then loaded my weight belt with as much weight as one of the 6-foot tall guys.
My chosen flotation device for my foray into water-walking was a "noodle" (one of those of those long cylindrical Styrofoam flotation devices you can get at Walgreen's for about $3.) I was balancing precariously, trying to get a feel for it. Suddenly, I rolled backwards, my feet flew up, and I couldn't get stabilized. I flopped around, grabbed the edge of the pool, and fought mightily. I forced my stubborn feet down once--but then they shot right back up.
"Do you need help?" asked one of the water-walkers. I was embarrassed to say so, but, well yeah, I did. She came over and pushed my feet back down, righting me, but as she was walking away, I slipped backward again. By this time, all six women in the pool were watching, asking if they could help. I could not get my feet down! I also couldn't bring them within reach of my hands in order to open the Velcro straps and take them off. Visions of myself upside down in the water with only the soles of my pink water-walking shoes visible on the surface flashed into my mind.
Thanks to the pool ladies, that didn't happen. They took the water shoes off of my feet for me, stood me upright and put my noodle on the side of the pool. I hoped they thought my face was red from the sun. Later examination of my shoes revealed foam in the soles, which combined with my salt-water-enhanced floating ability and death grip on the the noodle, turned me into a virtual cork.
My career as a cork is over. From now on, no noodle; no little pink shoes. With my awesome floating capabilities, I should be able to navigate through just about anything--including one sore shoulder!