Our kids grew up swimming in swimming holes and playing near streams running fast and frigid in the spring. “If you fall into a moving stream,” we told them umpteen times, “don’t try to swim back to the point on the bank where you fell in. You’ll be swimming against the current and you’ll get exhausted and drown.”

“Then what’re we supposed to do, “they asked on cue; “float over the waterfall?”

“Just point yourself towards the side and swim in that direction without worrying that the spot on the side you’re headed for keeps changing. You’ll get to the side very quickly. Once you’re out of the water. You can worry about how to get back where you want to be.”

We had to take them to a moving stream and have them practice to prove to them that they get to some point on the side in the same amount of time whether the stream is moving or not so long as they don’t try to choose a particular landing point. Sounds very Zen but just vector physics 101.

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