How long does it take to get this? Linda asks. She has made progress the first three classes in ways that have seemed remarkable to her but the last class all her doubt came back. It was immensely deflating. She couldn’t get the backfloat. She kept getting water in her nose. Despite my suggesting otherwise, she wanted it to do it without a nose clip. To prove something, I guess.
I respond, it takes as long as it takes. This remark is a clunker, a stinker. I take another tack: I refer to the cultural meme given much currency: it takes 10,000 hours to master something.
Linda’s face falls accordingly.
But what if they’re 10,000 hours of fun?
She hadn’t thought of that.
What is my level of mastery? I don’t swim laps, find them boring and too much work. My mother was right. I am a lazy guy. Put me in the ocean and the butterflies-in-the-stomach would flutter out of their larval drowse. I don’t’ have enough experience in Big Water yet. But all in all, I’m doing fabulously, considering I still have about 5,000 more hours to go.
I’d say about 4,998 hours of the first 5,000 have been fun.