Am I Really American If I Can’t Swim?

Summer Olympics, Rio 2016, sports, swimming, drowning, humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherI’m beginning to question if I’m truly American, Modern Philosophers, and I blame it on the Summer Olympics!

Since my vacation plans got muddled, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands to watch TV.  The only thing apparently on television right now is the Summer Olympics.

Check if you don’t believe me.  Whatever channel I turn to, very athletic people are doing all sorts of athletic things as rabid spectators cheer wildly and wave flags of nations that I didn’t even know existed.

The last couple of nights, the Olympic coverage has focused on swimming.  I don’t have the exact figures, but the United States is clearly dominating the sport and has won something like 105 swimming medals already.

In order to give the other countries a chance at winning in the pool, Olympic officials are making the American swimmers compete while wearing the medals they’d already won.

Even with all that additional weight around their necks, Team USA kept winning.

Michael Phelps is the main culprit.  He’s won more gold medals than any human being or Russian cyborg athlete ever to compete, and he’s taken home the gold in the same event at the last four Olympics.  It sounds like the American Presidential Race…you’d think after four years, all the other countries in the world could produce at least one candidate who could topple the incumbent.

Instead, it was just Phelps swimming against a pool of Trumps.

So why am I suddenly feeling like I’m not American, Modern Philosophers?

drowning, swimming, Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps, patriotism, humor, Modern PhilosopherAfter watching Americans dominate race after race in the Olympic pool, I got the impression that every American must be an amazing swimmer.

And I can barely swim.

In fact, I almost drowned twice in my youth, and failed miserably whenever I took swimming lessons.

Am I really American if I can’t swim?

I met my ex-wife when we were both at NYU.  She was on the swim team, and I always told her that the reason I asked her out was because I needed an excellent swimmer around to make sure I didn’t drown.  I mean, three strikes and you’re out, right?

She always thought I was joking about that, but I wasn’t.  Aside from being on the swim team, she was also a certified lifeguard.  Anytime I was within ten feet of a body of water, I clung to her like my life depended on it.

Because it did.

When we moved to California, our first place had a pool.  For Christmas that year, she bought me a kick board and water wings and promised to teach me how to swim.  Mind you, I was 27 at the time.

By that age, Michael Phelps had already won 300 Olympic swimming medals.

I might now be able to glide a few feet in the pool without drowning, but I’m never going to be mistaken for a member of Team USA.  Even if I do look damn hot in a swimming cap.

humor, philosophy, swimming, Summer Olympics, Trump, Modern PhilosopherWith Future President Trump about to take office, I’m suddenly getting very nervous about having my patriotism and nationality called into question.

What if Trump institutes mandatory swimming tests to make sure everyone living in America is actually an American?

If he does, I’m screwed!

Maybe Team USA could ease up a little in the pool and make it seem like not every American is Aquaman or Aquawoman.  I mean, I’m just worried that they’re giving the rest of the world the wrong impression about us as a people, you know?

Someone throw me a life jacket.  I’m drowning over here!

If you’re not in over your head, maybe you could follow me on Pinterest…


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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9 Responses to Am I Really American If I Can’t Swim?

  1. amommasview says:

    Oh that is so good! You made me giggle 🙂

  2. markbialczak says:

    Might be a born-in-Brooklyn thing, Austin. My nickname might as well be Rocky, such is my lifelong lack of swimming skills.

  3. Same here – can’t swim. Almost drowned twice also. I now live in Florida and everyone always wants to go to the beach. I have a new hobby – building sandcastles.

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