On Swimming

The pool here at the Harris Ranch is spectacular. Olympic size, not chlorined, perfect temperature. If I had a pool like this available I’d swim every day. I swam about 10 laps yesterday, crawl and breaststroke, exulting. I watched a little boy with his dad. The kid was a water sprite. He loved it.

   It reminded me of teaching swimming (when in college). I specialized in kids who were deathly afraid of the water. There was a skinny little say 6-year old kid in Santa Cruz, and he’d probably had a water trauma, because he trembled when in the pool, wouldn’t get his face near the water. His mom really wanted him to get over it.

   I started him blowing bubbles, then harder and harder until his face was getting splashed. Then floating a short distance to pool’s edge, face down. Progress. OK Eric, I said, I want you to ride on my back and we’ll swim around. After I got him to relax a bit and loosen up on his choke hold on my neck, I started swimming. Then blowing bubbles as we swam. He got comfortable. OK Eric, I want you to take a breath and close your  eyes and we’ll go under water. We dove. Then under water with his eyes open, and voilà, Eric became a swimmer.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

3 Responses to On Swimming

  1. I love this story of overcoming fear of water….it can be applied to many other areas of "fear"…."false evidence appearing real". on the crops….of the Valleys in Californian….I was under the impression that the trees were drip irrigation…no? yep, it's still from the underground aquifer. thanks for the old photos….I grew up in Sacramento.

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