Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for July 28th, 2012

Benjamin Franklin’s guide to swimming

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The only obstacle to improvement…is fear: and it is only by overcoming this timidity that you can expect to become a master…Choosing a place where the water deepens gradually, walk coolly into it till it is up to your breast; then turn round your face to the shore, and throw an egg into the water between you and the shore; it will sink to the bottom and be easily seen there if the water be clear…In this attempt [to retrieve the egg] you will find that the water buoys you up against your inclination; that it is not so easy to sink as you imagine, and the thou cannot, but by active force, get down to the egg. Thus you feel the power of water to support you, and learn to confide in that power, while your endeavors to overcome it, and reach the egg, teach you the manner of acting on the water with your feet and hands, which action is afterwards used in swimming to support your head higher above the water, or to go forward through it.

Benjamin Franklin

Written by nevalalee

July 28, 2012 at 9:50 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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