International Swimming Day

I don’t know about you, but my fondest memories of summer ALL seem to revolve around water in some way… I grew up in Buffalo, NY and as most people know the winters in Buffalo are legendary for their severity – so the reprieve of summer was never lost on me as a kid! I can remember the pool parties in my Aunt Beverly’s backyard pool – spitting watermelon seeds at my younger sister, hot dogs on the grill, and swimming for hours and hours on end… Then there was Mike and Ricky’s pool in my own neighborhood… I don’t remember many summer days when we didn’t spend at least some time in their pool… or the community pool down the street where I learned how to backstroke, and attempted to look graceful while I tried to learn how to do the butterfly stroke… For me personally, nothing exemplifies summer quite like swimming does! And my swimming memories are not just limited to times in or around pools, I spend countless days with my family on our boat on Lake Erie – swimming, tubing, water skiing and exploring Beaver Island and Crystal Beach… Swimming and summer are almost inseparable for me.

I now have the pleasure of living in Southern California, but the excitement of summer still brings me joy to this day. As I sit and write this on a Sunday morning, I am just drying off from a great time of surfing with my oldest son Josh – so water is still so much a part of my life even outside my career…

I have the satisfaction of getting to build swimming pools as my job – I turned my passion for water into a career. I get to fulfill my clients dreams by building pools for them and their families. I love the overwhelming joy this brings them – especially to the children of my clients… I especially love getting the text messages with photos of the kids enjoying their new pool for the very first time… I have the privilege of bringing the joy of swimming to families throughout Southern California, and for me this is super fulfilling!

As I was thinking about ways to celebrate the beginning of summer (which happens on June 20 this year) I wanted to see if there was a way to tie this into swimming in some way… I began to do some research to see what “international days” were on June 20 this year. I discovered a couple compelling celebrations that caught my attention… There is International Surfing Day – a day where surfers around the world make it a point to get to the beach and catch a wave to commemorate the beginning of summer. I also learned that the world’s largest swimming lesson takes place on this day – this got me wondering – when is International Swimming Day?? To the best of my research there does not appear to be anything like this… there is International Learn To Swim Day – But there is not a day which simply celebrates the joy of swimming.

I have decided to right this great societal wrong… (OK maybe a bit over the top there) by creating International Swimming Day – which will be observed the first day of summer every year beginning June 20, 2019.

I would like to partner with all of you to make this a thing… The health benefits of being in and around water are amazing. How many of us retreat to our favorite waterside location when we need to re-gather our thoughts, or calm our spirits? There is just something about water that is therapeutic!

This is the case throughout the world as well. Hindus across the world pilgrimage to the River Ganges in India to bathe in these cleansing waters… for over 2,000 years Christians have undergone baptism ceremonies where they immerse their bodies in water to symbolize cleansing – Jewish ruins throughout the world have uncovered Mikveh’s where individuals would wash to cleanse themselves before participating in certain holy activities. Water immersion (swimming) has been a part of human civilization for millennia now – it’s time to celebrate it…

I also don’t want to get too narrow-minded about this either – yes my career revolves around swimming pools – but this is just one small segment of what swimming encompasses… We want to celebrate swimming wherever it takes place, in a lake, a pond, a river, a swimming pool, the ocean, it doesn’t matter… I love the model of the International Surfing Day “On International Surfing Day, we take a moment to celebrate and enjoy the beaches and waves that we all love … Head to the beach, go for a surf with a friend or better yet introduce the stoke of surfing to someone new.” I love this sentiment – this is not some commercial PR stunt to fatten anyone’s wallet – it’s simply a time to celebrate swimming in all its forms, from Scuba Diving to Surfing, from water skiing to cliff diving, from polar bearing to sitting in a natural hot spring – let’s all grab some companions and get out and go swimming on International Swimming Day 2019… Help us spread the word.

David Penton – SWD Master
Professional Watershape Designer # KM 040-11
Fluid Dynamics Pool and Spa