I have a new swimming buddy, and for future reference, when an 18 year old asks me if she can swim with me I should probably say no. She’s either going to get me into shape or kill me – it’s a toss up right now.

C, who is in my 4-H club and until recently took care of Rosie for me, saw that I had a Y swimming schedule and asked if she could come too since she has a membership. I asked her if she was going to embarrass me by knowing how to swim. She demonstrated a flailing stroke that resembled mine so I said she could come.

Lap swimming ends at 8:30 AM. I thought that would be a deal breaker. I’ve seen her stagger out to the barn to feed her horses breakfast at noon. But she wanted to go at 7:30 AM. At 6:30 this morning when the alarm went off I called her every bad name I knew. In 7 minutes when it went off again I made up some new ones but I got to the pool on time.

No C. She’s not very prompt and sometimes doesn’t show up at all so I wasn’t shocked. I swam for a while until I looked up at 7:50 and there she was. She said that she would do whatever I was doing. So we would do freestyle down and backstroke back. As she pulled ahead of me with a beautiful stroke I knew she had lied about knowing how to swim. There have been swimming lessons in her past.

I tried to teach her that the proper way to swim at the Y was to give yourself a good rest at each end of the pool. But she would be looking at me for all the world like a puppy who wants you to throw the ball again so I was cutting my rests short. She suggested a race once but I nipped that right in the bud.

Then she borrowed some goggles and started giggling while swimming. That started me giggling and almost drowning. I asked at the end of that lap what was so funny and she said that she was watching me swim underwater. Girl must die. Then she pushed me on the next backstroke. She’s lucky I didn’t drown. Who’s gonna sign all her 4-H papers when I’m dead? I assigned her a penalty lap for roughhousing which is clearly not allowed according to the big signs with the rules. Besides, I needed the extra rest while she swam her penalty.

There was a guy there today with a snorkel and I decided that’s what I really need so I don’t have to worry about how to breathe at all.

I left after being in the pool for 40 minutes and actually swimming for many of those minutes. I told her she had to keep swimming to make up for the 20 minutes I swam before she showed up. We are going to do it again on Monday. This could definately be the death of me.