Skip to main content

Pooled effort to bury the dread

A life in the year of Emily Shark

"ok, everyone! The great thing about an exercise class in a swimming pool is that your worries just swim away, ha ha ha!"

Yeah, but the little bastards will be waiting for you when you get out. I want to drown my worries. Can you show me how to do that?

Come on, Shark. Those rubber shapes look fun. This has to be better than the dread of facing 9Y tomorrow. Or snarling about Mr Gorgeous moving in with Melinda Sleam.

The smell of chlorine always reminds me of disappointment. I only come here to lift my mood when things are rubbish. I should come here when things are great, so that chlorine... Oh, here we go!

"Put the rubber tube behind your neck and just lie back on it. Slowly!"

That sounds nice. And watching another teacher in action is always...


Get back down, you foamy git!

Splosh! Flerp!

"Don't worry just try it again, slowly. No don't push down "

"Glug... er, sorry... I can't do this..."



"Yes, I know, but "


Everyone else can do it. Or can they?

Hey, that woman's cheating! She's restraining the evil foam tube with her chin, as if it's a great squashy telephone! That's what I'm going to do.

That's better. It hurts, but at least it relieves the stress of being the only one who can't control a bit of foam rubber.

"Right, now roll over on to your tummy, keeping the "

Thwap! Thwap! Thwap!

"Oh, I'm so sorry! Are you OK?"

"Glug. Sss."

Right. I really need help now.

"Excuse me, how do you "

"Fantastic, everyone! Now I want you to put the foam tube between your legs and pretend you're riding a bicycle."


"And wave your arms if you can. Good, you two, lovely and smooth. Now we're ready for some music! Go!"

How dangerous do I have to become before she notices there's a mad person in the pool? Look, I may not be drowning but I am definitely waving and you're not Splup. Ug... I hope I don't ignore my floundering pupils like this...

"Well done, everyone! Right hang on to the foam tubes for the last five minutes but just swim at your own pace."

Hah. I'm just going to hug mine.

No! The worries have come back! I'm getting the dreaded Karl tomorrow. And the even more dreaded floppy teaching assistant who comes with him whether you want her or not, like a toxic toy in a cereal packet. Time for a foamy workout.

Splosh! Thlunk! Thwap!

Oh, yeah. That really works. I wonder how much these things cost?

More from Emily in a fortnight

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you