By Clyde Davis: Local columnist
One of the solid advantages of exercising, at least certain types of exercise, is the ability to lose focus, to take a mini-trip in the mind while one is performing it.
No, I do obviously not mean tennis, or golf, or softball, or touch football. The advantage to those types of physical activity has more to do with building one’s focus and concentration.
Enter the world of swimming, or cycling, or of the runner.
Obviously, it’s important to watch where one is going while on a bike, or running, or for that matter in the water. But, at least for me, there is still plenty of leeway to create an inner world.
So to the CCC pool, where I entered in snorkel, mask and fins, hoping that nobody thought I needed those items to survive. It just provides another tool to enter the dream world with.
My mind skipped over to my grandson, whom I taught to swim in this pool, and who now lives in Florida. At least for as long as they are stationed there, we have a great access to the upper west Gulf Coast.
I understand the feelings of those USAF personnel who, upon finding themselves here, having come from there, go through culture shock.
Last November, while down there for Thanksgiving, I was able to snorkel every day of the visit. I must mention the locals were not in the water, but there were plenty of us hardier visitors who would not relent.
So as I snorkeled the CCC pool, I remembered the name of a dive shop located in Panama City, which will take learners as young as 11— perhaps even 10 — if the adult partner is also dive certified. Since Jason will be 10 next spring, you can imagine where this chain of linked ideas was leading.
I had always known I wanted to give him the experience of scuba lessons, preferably at a much younger age than I was able to take them. The prices at this shop were reasonable and, perhaps because of more competition, they reflected an overall reasonable market.
Lapping the pool in my snorkel gear, my mind moved further along that track. Next stop, Florida Keys, after we have gotten him certified. No, not on the same visit — not unless I win the lottery — but the awareness that, in future years, we can make our way down the coast and experience that together.
There are many places I would like to see, but that is one destination that is, at least, accessible.
The time was up for swimming, and while backing out of the water I feared, just for a moment, that my daydreaming had been a waste of time.
But if we don’t dream, or make plans of our dreams, then how can they ever take life?
So excuse me, while I go look up the price of the lessons at that dive shop.
It may be a creative way of giving him a Christmas gift to remember.