Friday, March 3, 2017

Swimming at the Y

I transferred to public high school for my senior year.  My reasoning which sufficed to convince  the parents was that I needed to take physics and senior math which at the time was trigonometry and solid geometry.

Then I found that in order to graduate I would have to have credit in physical education.  So as a senior I enrolled in a  PE class.  I chose swimming.

*WARNING.  If you do not wish to have an image which you cannot unsee burned into your mind, STOP reading now.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
 
The swimming classes were held at the YMCA pool which was a one-block walk to the south of the school.  The routine required stripping and showering, soaping thoroughly, including the hair. (When did you last "shampoo" with bar soap?)  Then we entered the pool area.  You did not read the part about donning the trunks?  That is because there was no, I mean NO, clothing in the pool.  Twenty naked teenage boys lined up alongside the pool so Coach could call the roll, then into the water. The instructor shouted encouragement and humiliating taunts to each and all for the next thirty minutes.

Back to the showers where we rinsed the chlorine off our bodies, toweled down, then, some days, the fun part.  Snapping someone with a damp towel is much more fun than being snapped by a damp towel.  Coach knew this was going on, how could he not?  But he also knew when to step in and put a stop to it.  No permanent injuries suffered by anyone, so far as I know.

Once dressed, we ascended to the main floor where most of the guys checked out and headed for the school house.  Some of us who chose to fritter away the lunch hour stayed to shoot a couple games of eight-ball.  Nope, no "closed campus."  Lunch hour might make another post.

Oh, I passed the course, got my PE credit.


My Little World
Colorado Springs, Colorado
1951-1952

7 comments:

Jim Grey said...

By the time I got to that age, at the school that then hosted the #1 swim team in the state, students were being issued these ill-fitting black rubbery trunks (and full suits for the girls). None of us liked them much. I remember thinking even then that this was one class that should have segregated the girls from the boys.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Well, you managed to post something I've never heard of before. Who knew there was naked swimming at the Y!?

vanilla said...

Jim, no matter the attire or lack thereof, I am grateful for the boys-only class. We did have a swim team and they wore swim attire.

Sharkey, who knew? One suspects that things have changed. A lot. (I know I have.)

Grace said...

Ah, NYC public high school - with an olympic sized swimming - gym classes mandatory for all 4 years of school (can't remember how many times a week) one semester of swimming - mandatory. From the late 1930's through the 1970's boys swam nude. Girls had baggy shapeless swimsuits.

vanilla said...

Grace, actually, mandatory swimming is a good idea. I am not much of a swimmer but I am grateful for the instruction I got in that distant and ancient time.

Lin said...

AHA! I knew it! Sorry I missed this!

Being on the swim team, I could not wait for the swimming rotation for gym class. We was fancy...we had our own pool inside of the school.

Oh, what joy there was in lapping all those moronic football "heros" in the pool and chuckling at their gaspy breaths when they finally finished. There was also much joy in knowing that I had a secured "A" in gym that semester.

vanilla said...

Lin, always ready to help, I am happy that I directed you here.
From reading Duck and Wheel I had surmised that you were one of those naiads. Laughing at the jocks seems exactly your kind of sport. Good for you.