She was in the pool again today. And once again, her movements puzzled me as to their form and purpose.

Just like those times when you see a woman with an errant clothing tag jutting out from her blouse for all to see her dress size, or a skirt partially hitched to the elastic waistband of an undergarment: I wondered if I should say something to her.

After all it was none of my business.

Typically though, it is my way to alert women-folk whenever I see their garments misbehaving; so why not also when spine, elbows, and shoulders are misaligned, and they are standing too deep in the water to reap any real benefit in terms of a cardio-vascular work-out?

But then again the woman in the pool was of a different ethnicity to me; hesitating, I wondered how she would react if I did say something to her.

In the end, my curiosity won out.

‘Excuse me,’ I said. ‘But do you mind me asking you a couple of questions?’

Even though her face wore an expression of surprise, her response was polite: ‘No, I don’t mind.’

As I suspected, she was in pool because of doctor’s orders.

‘Do you mind then if I make a couple of suggestions to improve your workout?’

‘No, I don’t mind,’ she said.

A willing student, she faithfully followed my movements and listened to the reasons for my suggestions.

‘How does that feel?’ I asked.

A smile and a nod was her initial response.

‘Good,’ she replied. ‘I must get swimming lessons.’

‘Well, if you do, what you’ve learned today will help.’

‘You swim beautifully,’ she said.

I smiled as I said: ‘Thank you.’

Afterwards, from the side of the pool, I noted her improved posture and leg movements. Good deed done, I walked away from the pool.

Enjoying a sudden sensation of elation, I felt twice-blessed.

After gathering enough gumption to make a difference in someone else’s life, the experience was made all the sweeter and richer by her unexpected gift of a compliment.

Copyright Jo 2016

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