Swim Where 9
For the next few days, Belinda stayed over. One day they drove to her apartment to collect fresh clothes and toiletries. She called her folks to assure them that aliens hadn’t abducted her but that rather she was on a special freelance assignment.
The interview sessions took place during the days and evenings, punctuated with frequent sex breaks and various outings. He hadn’t dropped any more conversation bombs like the admission of his having murdered his adoptive father. Rather, the talk was on whatever topic struck a moment’s fancy or detailing the exotic places he had been to and lived at. The bulk of his work experience had, not surprisingly, been related to scuba diving, scuba gear, diving equipment and/or things requiring a swimsuit.
The two settled into a domestic routine that Belinda found to be surprisingly comfy. It was almost like they were newlyweds and the intercourse that went on without prophylactics or even usage of the Catholic rhythm method made cohabitation feel as if they were a church-wedded couple.
To be completely honest, Belinda quite enjoyed the unprotected sex. When he dived into her naked like that, it felt like she was swimming without a bathing suit. When he came, there was a warm and gooey feeling inside her that made sex with a condom seem clinical in contrast. There was also the background fact that she could conceivably conceive and that bit of life drama turned their sex acts into reproduction events.
“Let’s go to the beach today.” Scott offered. “I’ll teach you how to scuba dive.”
Along the way he stopped off at a specialty sporting goods store for the appropriate scuba diving equipment and a new bikini.
“Can’t we just rent my scuba gear package?” Belinda cringed at the hit to her credit card that a full set of diving equipment might cost: even the two piece swimming suit was more expensive than she thought she would want to pay.
“We could,” he ushered her to the scuba gear section, “but I’ve seen the way rental diving gear is handled at a dive charter outfit. Most, but not all companies give their stuff a thorough maintenance but I’ve seen scuba gear abused worse than I was.”
He had her put on the bikini to get a proper fit then picked out diving gear items and got her to try them on. And a pile of equipment that met his approval grew steadily larger. There were scuba fins, a diving mask, snorkel, a scuba BC vest, regulator and a weight belt. The final selection was a sexy looking scuba diving wetsuit with short sleeves and the leggings ending at her mid thigh. But there her meager finances rebelled.
“I don’t think I’ll need the scuba wetsuit: it’s such a nice warm day that I can swim in just my bikini.”
“Try telling me that after we’ve been down to about 10 meters or so.” He grabbed the bundle and headed for the store’s checkout. “The warm sunshine isn’t quite as toasty in deeper water. In just your bathing suit you will be all gooseflesh.
Belinda’s worst fear, an embarrassing transaction declined message, didn’t materialize though, as Scott casually flipped his credit card onto the counter. They wheeled the purchases out to his SUV and loaded them in the back beside his equipment bag.
“What if it turns out that I don’t enjoy scuba diving?” Belinda asked.
“Then I suppose I’ll have to offer it all to the next hot female reporter who wants me to grant her an interview.”
She could tell from his expression that he wasn’t being serious, so she punched him on the shoulder. Her hit was fairly hard: it was stronger than she had intended.
“I barely even felt that.” Scott laughed and scoffed. “Luther’s right hook was a like a freight train coming around a tight corner.”
Belinda forced a smile at the quip but his frequent references to the abusive man always stirred up different emotions than humor. As she circled to her side of the car, she wiped away a tear of empathy. Her childhood had been so secure, loving and supportive that she would be ashamed to describe it for him.
“Don’t I have to get a certificate before I can do this?” She asked after they got to the place where he wanted her to learn. It was a tiny beach flanked by outcroppings of rock. It didn’t have sand but rather small smooth pebbles. The main reason he used this place was the gently sloping bottom that was easy to find the ideal depth for training purposes. He promised that it also had interesting sea life along the rocks. It was private enough for both to strip down before putting on their swimsuits
“I’m a fully qualified scuba instructor and a licensed scuba guide.”
“I mean,” she started but didn’t want to spark a talk on bureaucratic requirements, “never mind. I’ll bet you were an amazing scuba guide.”
“Truthfully, I was crappy at it. I found it difficult to suppress my underwater speed to match the jellyfish’s pace of my customers.”
The next few hours were enjoyably spent in his teaching her to use the scuba gear. She practiced with it and then as a final exam he took her to a depth of 10 meters where they could watch the fish playing around the rocks. After about half an hour they returned to the level where she could stand up.
“I see what you mean. You swim faster some motor boats go.” Belinda put her dive mask up onto her forehead. “Would you do something for me?” She’d experienced a sudden inspiration. “I want to fully understand the difference between your famous kick, so many people rave about, and the way the other Olympic swimmers do it?”
“Certainly.” Scott first removed his weight belt and he strapped it around her waist. “Now you’ll sink to be able to sit on the bottom.” He explained. “You can shoot an mpeg of my swimming by from underwater.” He handed her a waterproof digital camera from a pocket of his Scuba BC device. “I’ll go by you several times and if you can’t spot the differences, I’ll explain them to you later.”
Belinda gave him the thumbs up signal when she was positioned with her head and the camera about a half a meter under the surface. And he began the first pass of several runs, swimming the physically demanding butterfly stroke. Although she was filming it, she also watched his movements as closely as she could. The reporter did notice that the one method he used produced a visibly faster result.
“You bend your knees further forward than the others did.” She guessed when they were finished and back standing.
“The medical terminology is hyper extension, as opposed to the hyper flexion that would mean knees completely bent. But I’m doing much more than just that.” He played one of her video clips of his signature style. “In the normal butterfly kick, the power comes from rapidly bringing the knees from a partial flexion position, to a nearly full extension.”
“Your kick does that.” She noted. “Just as the other swimmers do.”
“Yes, but then the action of recoiling the knees again is passive. Yet the muscles on the human calf that bend the knees and the back thigh are about as strong as the ones those on the shins and in the front of the thighs that straighten the legs. My way improves on the kick, but still keep it within the rules, by not wasting all of the flexion movement by just passively recoiling my legs. By hyper-extending my knees at the kick’s end, I can use part of the flexion to deliver some extra forward thrust and I’m using muscles that would be otherwise largely untaxed.”
“Your competitive edge is in the bit from the hyper-extension and the less than full extension of the other swimmers?”
“Basically yes but there are also some other subtle differences.”
“What made you think of doing it that way?”
“I spent countless hours in minutely scrutinizing the way fish use their tails and trying to imagine how I could employ my legs in a similar fashion. In a regular butterfly stroke, the swimmer relies on the paddle shape of his/her feet to be the mechanism of producing forward thrust. I also develop a water flow along the whole length of my legs.”
So your kick does exactly what the other style does, but it additionally nets you extra gains from your modifications. That’s why you broke all the records.”
“Again, that’s only part and the rest is my heart.”
“That’s poetic,” she smiled, “and it requires an explanation.”
“Fully understand one concept before we move onto the next.” Scott hooked his fingers into the bra of her bikini and he kicked his flippers: he towed her like that out to deeper water, laughing all the way. She struggled behind, giggling and trying to hold her bathing suit in place. Then he stopped kicking and relaxed his grip. “Let’s go back down to the reef and watch the fish swimming again. This time pay careful attention of how they use their tails and play back the video clips to compare that with my unique kick.”
Swim Where will continue….
Russell Twyce is the Author of Shiva’s Messenger