Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Memory: PMA

Once upon a time, I was a swimmer.

We were a magnificent bunch of swimmers on our girls' swim team, absolutely crazy about each other and about our coach. We were strong, thin, muscular, and full of laughter. Although we were in a sport that largely emphasized the individual's effort, we defined teamwork.

I have no idea if we won many meets in the six years ( two years on junior varsity and then 4 on varsity) I was on swim team . I remember we always lost against Victor and that Canandaigua's pool was always so warm that we couldn't help but slow down into a dream-like swim. But I don't think we ever really cared about winning meets. Our coach had instilled in us a strong determination to do our personal best and to have PMA: positive mental attitude. We were the Pink Panthers (our school mascot was the panther), and "PPs have PMA" became our mantra.

(We all had our nickname and a favorite saying on the back of our t-shirts.)

She was a great coach, who was also one of our school's guidance counselors. I don't know whatever became of her. She was kind and quiet and inspired that group of 25 or so girls to support each other, do our best, and have fun. She's one of those few teachers I'd like to find someday, just to say: You made a difference.

Hey, Nancy Read? Your PMA stuck.

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