February 14, 2000
This week, we are launching 8 stories from Prince George, BC and as a special event you can read their stories as well as hear them. The learners are from two programs in Prince George : the Native Friendship Centre as well as College and Career Preparation at the College of New Caledonia.
The following story was written by Karen Kinch. It is about an experience she had at a busy time in her life. Karen is married and a mother of three. She is a freshman at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, B.C. Currently she's enrolled in the College and Career Preparation Program and has almost completed her first semester. Karen has been out of school for sixteen years and has found that coming back to further her education has been a refreshing experience. She has found that with her own pursuit of knowledge, also came an eagerness to share what she has learned with others.
Play an audio version of this story
Have you ever had one of those days when you wonder why you had ever gotten out of bed in the first place? You must know about the type of day that I'm referring too. The funny thing is, in my life I seem to have quite a lot of them. This happens to be just one of the many that I would call a memorable experience.
It started out a very typical day in the life of an active wife and mother of three. I was busy trying to do fifty million things at once. As usual, I had spread myself far too thin trying to please everyone in every way. But there was another method for my apparent madness today! I was attempting to add an element of enjoyment for myself to an already hectic schedule.
My morning was spent rushing here and there doing what pressing errands I had yet to complete. I was desperately trying to set aside some time to enjoy myself that afternoon. All I wanted to do was go to an aqua fit class that was being offered by the local aquatic center. I had gotten the opportunity to go there once before, where I met some nice people and had a great time, to boot! I knew things were going to be tight with my day's agenda being very overwhelming. So of course, somethings went awry and from that point on, I was late every step of the way. Optimistically I trudged on because this time I was on a mission of personal pleasure!
So there I was. I had finally arrived at the pool, a little late but no worse for wear. My personal motto is, better late than never. I glanced quickly at the clock in my truck. Then I began to riffle through my bag to see if I had everything that I required for my session of aqua fit. The way my day had gone thus far, I had figured I'd better check! "Umm, towel, swim suit I'm set," I muttered to myself. There was no stopping me because it was now "MY TIME!"
A short time after, I was able to grace the poolside with my so-called "presence." I was a little surprised to see that my class was in the deep end of the pool. "Hmmm." The last time I was here, we had swum in the shallow end. Don't get me wrong. I'm not afraid to swim in deep water. I had always considered myself a very strong swimmer. So without further ado, I slipped quietly into the pool to join the class, which by that time was well underway.
It wasn't long after I'd joined the class, that I began to have trouble keeping up with them. I struggled with every pain-staking stroke just to stay afloat in the deep water. I soon began to bob and sputter with exhaustion. It was then that I resorted to only the treading of water!
As I looked to my left, I saw a familiar face. There was Cathy, an extremely tall woman, I had met in the last aqua class. She glanced in my direction. It was then that our eyes met. The sweat on my brow and the look on my face must have been rather obvious. Cathy said to me, " Are you ok?"
I didn't give her the instant reply she was apparently waiting for. Instead, I thought briefly to myself. Then I asked her, "Cathy, are you that tall? Like, can you touch bottom?"
She looked at me rather puzzled and replied in a long drawled out questioning, "Nooooo?"
"Hmmm," I said and again fell into deep thought. Only, this time I questioned myself. "What on earth is wrong with me? Am I sick? Why is this so hard to do?"
Cathy then cleared her throat and said with a chuckle, "Do you have one of these?"
I looked at what she pointed to with a smile of my own. I said with a sheepish grin, "Oh man... a floater, you guys have FLOATERS?" "Hmmm." What more can I say? Maybe it was the strong fumes of the chlorine in the pool... Hey? Not!