Swinging is never out of style.

Swinging is never out of style. This is the swing set my dad installed in our backyard in Brooklyn.

The best memories I have of my father are these three:
1. I am three years old and he is teaching me to swim in the bay at Jones Beach. I can still feel his comforting hands under my back, as I float face up in the briny water, totally relaxed and trusting.
2. I am a bit older, on my blue Schwinn “big girl’s” two-wheeler bike. He has raised the training wheels way high, terrifying me. One hand on the back of the seat and the other on the handlebars, he’s pushing me to the point on the small hill, on our street in Brooklyn, where it begins to decline. As if by magic, I have enough speed to balance…. Wheee!!!!
3. Around the same time as the bike, my father installed a swingset in our backyard. Instant popularity! At least, until the poles in the ground loosened and with every swing, lurched sickeningly out of the ground. (Honestly, that made it more exciting!)
We don't need no stinking swim aids!

We don’t need no stinking swim aids! Most likely this was me being lazy. My dad taught me to swim when I was three.

Studies suggest that it is fathers who have the most influence over their son’s—and daughter’s–exercise attitude and habits. We never got to the point of playing ball together, or anything like that. But I’ll always be grateful for his role in making me comfortable and adept at three activities I love still.

I even wrote a book about swimming!
And I think heaven is bicycling along the Greenway that hugs the Hudson River.
And do I even need to talk about the thrills of the swing?

If he were around, I wonder what we would have done on Father’s Day? Who would encourage whom to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh clean air, to engage in a pleasurable activity and what would we be doing?

Who would swim the farthest or fastest?
Where would we ride on our bikes?
Who would be pushing whom on a swing?
Who would win a push up contest?
Would he have been proud of me?

So, what did you do with your father on Father’s Day?
Did he introduce you and encourage you to be active?

Here's daddy.

Here’s daddy.

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