A Perspective on the Boating Unit

The water isn't as deep as students think

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A Perspective on the Boating Unit

George Ivory, Reporter

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It’s no secret that some of the most disliked gym units at NASH are the swimming units.

The first of these poisons is the straight-forward swimming unit. As the name implies, students go through various swimming exercises, making it the most disliked of the two. The second would be the boating unit, and its goal is to train students to make the right decisions in the case that they would need to swim in order to survive. Since I have not experienced the swimming unit, I will be focusing more on the boating unit, answering the question: is it really as bad as people say?

Before beginning the unit, I heard many negative remarks. I would be met by students who said that out of their other gym units, they disliked boating the most. After quite a few comments, all concerning the unit, I found myself entering with a negative bias.

The week before the unit began, I was informed that my class would be swimming the very first day, something that surprised me. While changing for the first time was a bit difficult, the overall experience in the pool was not as bad as I expected. After a few more classes, I had adapted to the typical routine associated with the unit.

The overall goal of the unit is to provide students with knowledge of techniques that could increase their chances of survival — along with the survival of others — in the event of a boating accident. While a good number of people may not frequently go boating or ever plan to set foot on a boat, it is still important that students are aware of the different techniques provided.

While I have not experienced the full unit, I believe that it is looked down upon, not because it is a bad unit, but because of the personal preferences and issues of the individuals involved with the unit. Many students will give their own reasons as to why they dislike the unit, but many relate to another’s issue.

One of the biggest issue that leaves most students loathing the unit has to do with the unavoidable and inconvenient fact that going into the pool means getting wet. This is definitely one of the biggest problems concerning the unit. Students are left to their own means in order to dry themselves, most resorting to the typical beach towel. Styling hair and applying makeup immediately becomes void whenever faced with the reality of entering the pool — a reality that agitates many students while leaving others completely unfazed.

While it is true that getting wet can provide the inconvenience of style and feeling, it is important to remember that the world is not ending. Similar to many things in the modern day, it is just an inconvenience, nothing more and nothing less. In terms of trade-offs, many would prefer to be uncomfortably wet than to drown in the middle of the ocean.

A more viable reason not to swim would be due to medical concerns. Some people can suffer from negative effects caused by the chlorine and other chemicals found in pools. Some may have something as simple as sensitive skin or something as serious as a full-out allergic reaction. And while this is all true, I feel that it is still important for them to grasp the techniques through another means besides the pool, as in the end, knowing and not knowing the material could be of vital importance.

Life will not always please every individual on any given day. While the boating unit can provide its fair share of problems in comparison to sibling gym units, it is important to remember that there is a fine line between an inconvenience and a restriction. It is important to remember that even though this gym unit is widely disliked, it is one of the most important gym units students have experienced. It is a unit that teaches students skills that may one day dictate between life and death.