Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Starting Point

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Starting Point

Article excerpt

My freshman year at the high school seminary, we had to take swimming lessons. The lessons were part of the school's physical education requirement but also for safety's sake. With an indoor pool on the premises, it was important that all seminarians knew how to swim.

I went to a few of the classes but cut many of them. While I'm sure my absences were noted--there were 25 seminarians in my freshman class--I don't recall being challenged or disciplined for cutting class. Eventually, I did learn how to swim. I'm not a great swimmer but good enough to stay afloat and keep from drowning.

More than swimming, I learned how to tread water. I've been treading water ever since.

I'm not sure why I cut swimming classes my freshman year. Perhaps it was the memory of a near-drowning" experience on a family vacation when I was 3 or 4 years old. As a result of that trip, I had to wake up early on cold Saturday mornings to go to an outdoor pool for swimming lessons. …

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