It’s summer. Sweat comes out in beads on the foreheads of 9-year-old Melvin and his father despite the two electric fans in full speed. They are having supper in the kitchen. “Whew, it’s so hot!” Melvin declares, wiping drops of sweat off his brows. “May I go swimming tomorrow with Jericho, Papa,” he asks excitedly. “No problem, Son,” Mr. Gomez answers. “Thank you, Papa.”
After supper Melvin calls his best friend, Jericho, over the phone, inviting him for a swim in the morning.
“Come on, Pa. Let’s inflate the portable swimming pool now so that by tomorrow it will be ready for use.” Melvin suggests, pulling his father by the hand. Mr. Gomez smiles at his son’s excitement as he carries the inflatable pool to the yard. Melvin claps his hands in delight as he sees the pool taking shape. He imagines the fun he and Jericho will have the following day. “What’s the easiest swimming stroke, Papa? Melvin asks as he runs his hands over the inflated swimming pool.
“To me, its breaststroke,” Mr. Gomez replies. “This is the most popular style for swimming.”
“How is it done?”
“You extend your arms together in front of your head and sweep them back on either side accompanied by a frog kick.”
Melvin laughs in delight. “I will try that in our swimming pool with Jericho,” he says.
Back inside the house, Melvin and his father google for videos on swimming strokes – freestyles, back, butterfly, and dog paddle. They also search the web for further explanations. They learn that doctors prescribe backstroke swimming to people experiencing back problems because it gives the back an excellent workout. “I need to do backstrokes more often to ease my back problem,” Mr. Gomez tells his son. Butterfly stoke, they find out, is difficult to learn and quite exhausting. “I want to learn how to do the butterfly stroke when I get older,” Melvin says. “It may be challenging, but can be fun!”
Mr. Gomez scrolls to “swimming: health benefits.” They learn that swimming builds muscle tone and strength, helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible, burns calories, and many others. “But do you know what I like most about swimming?” Mr. Gomez asks his son.”
Melvin shakes his head. “I feel very happy when I swim. I forget my troubles. I enjoy swimming especially when I am with the people who are close to me.”
“Me, too,” Melvin quips. “I feel very happy when I am swimming.”
“Do you know why we feel happy and relax when we swim?” Melvin again shakes his head. Mr. Gomez explains about endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that are released during swimming. “That is why during swimming, you often hear laughter and splashing and fun. I haven’t seen any swimmer who does not enjoy the water!”
“Agree!” Melvin answers. “I know I will have a wonderful time tomorrow with Jericho.” His father nods and tells him to get his Bible and open it to Proverbs. 17:22.* “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Melvin reads. He pumps his right hand in delight. “I will not only have a wonderful time with Jericho. I will also release en… endor…hmmm…”
Endorphins, called the feel-good chemicals, are released during swimming. That is why during swimming, your hear laugher and splashing and fun. Have you ever heard of a swimmer who does not enjoy the water?
“Endorphins, finishes Mr. Gomez. “These feel-good chemicals are good for your health.”
“I can hardly wait to go swimming with Jericho, Papa,” Melvin says, as his father tucks him in bed.
“Yes, son, rest now. You will need a lot of energy tomorrow,” Mr. Gomez answers as he kisses his sod good night.