September 1977

Coed scuba can be fun
by Lisa Collin

     I announced to my luncheon companions that I was just put in "Coed Skin and Scuba." Five girls swooned at the thought of their curled heads becoming drenched first period. I smiled and told them it's nothing tragic, although I almost swallowed my tongue at the thought of myself in flippers, mask and tanks trying to keep afloat.
     After all, doesn't everyone need an exciting Monday morning? For instance, trying on my suit only to have it rip down the seam so I have to hunt through the locker room for a black rubbery piece of nylon Maine South calls a bathing suit. By the time I squeeze it over my body I'm ten minutes late for the first day of class.
     The teacher greets me with, "Did you take a shower?" How desperately I want to tell him he is lucky I found something to wear let alone get it wet. Fourteen male snickers follow me as I creep back to the showers.
     "Now we're going to swim underwater one length," the teacher smiles. This is not my specialty. After seventeen years of breathing, even stopping for three or four minutes is a real challenge. I watch the boys glide through it, and then I, last of course, belly flop in and that tight suit now needs to be pulled back on as I gag through the eye stinging chlorine. The six-minutes left for dressing and drying my hair need no explanation!
     Due to these interesting facts, doctors orders, allergy to water, and scared of sharks are some of the excuses piling up in the gym office. Over the years, I've used up my share of excuses. Besides, why not try something new? Scuba class makes a great conversation piece and it really can be fun if you keep your sense of humor and a Speedo bathing suit near at all times.