Just before summer began, my wife suggested that we purchase the Brookings Pool family swim pass.

Our kids - ages 2, 5, 7 and 9 - are getting old enough that they could benefit from having unlimited access to the swimming pool in addition to spending time up the Chetco, so we decided that it would be well worth the cost to start utilizing the pool.

I figured that in order to get the most of my dollar, I would need to start lap swimming and try to swim at least 20 miles before the pool freezes over in winter.

(Actually, the pool is closed well before the water could freeze, and how often do we get sub-zero temperatures in Brookings, anyway?)

I began last week on Tuesday by swimming the length of the pool 20 times - or 10 down-and-backs.

I paused for air every time I came to a wall.

At one point I attempted a flip turn in the deep end; I ended up on the bottom of the pool wondering how I got there. (I also decided to get some instruction on proper flip turn technique before I attempted that again.)

In a 25-meter pool, my 10 laps was a grand total of 500 meters - a little over a quarter of a mile - not great.

I knew that I could do better and set a goal to, each day, swim at least one more lap than the previous day. I figured I could probably build 950 meters of stamina in two weeks.

At the end of the two weeks, I'll time my 950 meters and start swimming for that much time each day, counting my laps and adding up the distance until the pool closes.

Hopefully, I'll get faster and learn how to flip-turn without ending up on the bottom of the pool - disoriented and discombobulated - before the end of summer.

With one week under my towel, I'm loving the water and the health benefits that stem from regular exercise.

I know I'll never be Matt Biondi, but maybe one day my kids will win a gold medal in the Olympics because they had access to the pool.