I can’t swim and I am afraid of the sea. I once shut down a water flume at an Essex leisure centre because, halfway through my brave decision to go down it, I changed my mind and wedged myself into the bend to avoid crashing into that unpredictable splashy bit at the end. They had to send down a lifeguard.It is not that I have a phobia of water, per se; I just never learned to swim as a child. There were no holidays and there was, I suppose, an unspoken conservatism within my Pakistani community about wearing very little at a public beach. And by the time I got to adulthood, I based my activity choices around what I could do (eat, mainly), rather than what I couldn’t. As a result, swimming-related holidays were avoided.But now that I am in a relationship with a man who loves swimming, and water, this is not so easy. So, as part of my project to embrace the great outdoors, I have joined an adult swimming class. The first thing to say about my class is that nearly all my fellow students are BAME and all the teachers are white, which confirms – unscientifically, but still – the theory that permeated my entire childhood that swimming is yet more “white people stuff”.I'm a rising star at the BBC – according to Mum Read moreThe second thing to say is that my teacher is doing her A-levels, which is fairly humiliating for a fully grown woman, but not as bad as trying to find adult armbands in a high-street sports shop. That piece of drama goes like this: confused shop assistant asks you to repeat yourself, before radioing to another equally confused shop assistant, who doesn’t realise that you can hear them calling you a weirdo. They dutifully check the adult swim section, before moving to the children’s department and insisting 在快乐成长作文800 that the armbands “come up big”. Before you know it, they blow them up and attempt to shove them up your arms forecefully, on top of your cardigan, while people stare and you complain that it is beginning to burn.The denouement? They offer you a life jacket.Still, adult swimming lessons are worth it. I recently graduated from the total beginners group and was bumped up to the almost exclusively white intermediate group. The elation!I regarded this as a grand accomplishment, not just for me, but for my entire community. I wanted to hold my armbands in the air with a rallying cry of: “For my people!” A whole new world of family holidays, here I come.