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Living in Kyoto

The Summer My Husband Learned to Swim

By October 17, 20165 Comments

She appeared at our poolside almost as an optical illusion.  Blonde, very tall, muscular and incredibly fit, in a skimpy bikini, looking like a walking, talking, smiling ad for the benefits of cross training.  She came to our house to give swimming lessons to my grandchildren.  We tried not to look surprised as she introduced herself. At the end of an hour, she had my grandkids cutting their way up and down the length of our pool like sleek fish.  She smiled a lot and offered constant praise and enthusiasm.  We were definitely impressed.


After two lessons with my grandchildren, my daughter casually turned to my husband, “Dad, why don’t YOU take lessons with her?”

My husband’s first instincts to a request to do something are generally negative.  This time, there was no hesitation.  “Not a bad idea,” he replied.  Within minutes, he’d scheduled a lesson with Wonder Woman.

Heretofore, I would have described my husband as a lethargic swimmer.  He’d take a few slow, strokes then gradually stop moving.  He rarely used his legs, and barely used his arms.  When it came to floating on his back, he’d immediately sink like a lead weight.

Within two lessons, Wonder Woman (WW) had him swimming laps and easily finding buoyancy on his back. I watched some of the lessons from an upstairs window as he followed her every move. I’d never seen him try to please anyone the way he tried to please WW.  I marveled at his transformation.

The highlight of the lessons I observed was when WW instructed him how to kick and use his legs while swimming.  At the shallow end of the pool, she flipped over on her stomach.  Except  for the narrow piece of fabric between her legs, she looked naked.  Gloriously naked!  Here was a woman who celebrated every inch of her body, and a man who was only too happy to join in the celebration. WW has a  butt unlike any I’d ever seen at a beach or pool.  My husband’s eyes were glued to his instructor.

That was the day he learned to truly Swim.


Now, whenever he can, he swims and practices daily.  Happily.  Eagerly.  With passion.  I cannot recommend a WW enough for a male whose stroke has lost its zip.

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


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