Where Do I Begin...

Submitted by: Nora Parrish

Spanning the Generations

Albuquerque, NM

I learned to swim in the Hot Springs Pool before I learned to walk.

My grandparents were regulars at the pool, and took my father, who in turn took us kids - and when the opportunity had arose I have shared the pool with all four of my children, who beg to return.

There are so many memories, it's hard to single one out, from rolling in the snow, then jumping into the hot pool, to summers riding the bus from Carbondale to the pool for swim lessons (took the junior lifesaving class at the age of 11) to embarassing the cub scouts my mom worked with, because I would dive down and get their pennies off the bottom when they couldn't.

Before I was walking, my mom and dad had me and my six brothers at the pool, and Capt. Giles, who was a regular at the pool, was talking with them. He asked about me swimming and asked mom to trust him and he would show them something. Taking me and backing away from her, he told her that no matter what happened, not to touch me to just stay where she was.

He gave me a little push toward her and under water I went, and to my parents amazement, I began swimming right to mom.

I've been swimming ever since, many of those days were with Capt. Giles, he became my mentor of sorts growing up in the pool, and always pushed me to swim more. He was probably the reason that at age 11 I received my Junior Lifesaving Certificate at the pool.

But probably the best memory, other then just the fun days spent goofing off around Glenwood Hot Springs, is when at the age of four I decided I wanted to go off the 12 foot high dive like my brothers.

My dad explained that it was a "diving" board and I had to dive, and the rules were, if I went up, I had to dive off, I could not come back down the stairs.

Sure thing dad, and off I went up the stairs, the lifeguards were a little bit nervous, but they knew our family well, and just stood by.

Man was it higher up there then this four year old thought it would be, and I was more then a little scared, but more then that, I was scared of trying to talk my dad into letting me go back down those stairs. I remember looking down at him once as I walked back to the stairs and he was standing there shaking his head and pointing to the other end.

As I stood at the end, hands over my head to dive I was ready to start crying, the guards told me I could just jump and my dad yelled "no she can't, it's a diving board and she is going to dive." And dive I did, down I went under the water and turned and popped back up on top and felt like I had flown to the moon, it was sooo cool. While the guards told me to swim back under the board to the edge, my dad again refused to let me and said I could swim out and across like everyone else, that I knew the rules when I went up and would follow them.

Poor guards, standing there with their equipment as I made my way to the edge..... just to get out and do it all over again, and again, and again. I was hooked.

Well hooked that is until at the age of five I did the ultimate belly flop, bleeding nose and all, I made my way out of the pool area only to have my dad bring me back a few days later and stand there pointing up the ladder and saying, if you don't do it again now, you never will.

Thank you dad...

When I took my youngest two swimming in 2009, I was a bit dissapointed to find there was no high dive - as they had challenged me to dive off it at age 49, just like my oldest two did when I was in my 30's and I was ready to go for it.

Guess they will have to live with my memories of mom diving off the high dive.

Not living in Colorado now, we don't get to the pool often, but my children cherish their time at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool so much, and they always insist on staying till it closes, as swimming after dark is the coolest there is.

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