But I can swim
First off I would like to say that this isn’t a black thing. Everyone has their fears. Some have fears of spiders. Others have fear of darkness. Mine is water. Not just any water. The kind of water that takes you forever to get to the bottom. The kind of water that has waves. Big waves. Just coming at you. Ready to drift you away from your whole livelihood. I’ve had some bad experiences with water and some came to the point where I almost drowned.
When I was younger the fear of swimming was greater. Nobody taught me how to swim for the longest time. Not until I was a teen but leading up to that I wanted nothing to do with going towards the shallow water. My family would have gatherings at the park and there would be a swimming pool there. My cousins would get in and start playing. Everything is fine and dandy. Until they go to the deep end of the pool and ask me to join. Since I didn’t want to look like a punk I decided to join. What an idiotic idea. One of my closest cousins thought it was funny to flip me in the deep end.
I was upside down.
Then somehow my body turned right side up and my head popped out the water. I gasped for air as I reached the surface and then my cousin says “ You can’t swim?” What a great time to find out if I could. I don’t care if it was only 6 feet of water I was terrified. You’d think the trauma would stop there. Nope. It got worse.
A couple years later I went to a summer camp. I did have a good time there. Until I was told we had swimming class. If the facepalm emojis existed back then just picture my brain like that. Now it started off as normal. We swam in water that was below our height level. 3 feet. No biggie. But once again someone made a choice to get me in the water at my expense. As we were lining up to go one by one in the water one of the kids pushed me in pool. I could barely see an adult jump in the water to lift me up. This water would be a challenge for me later on. A permanent one.
As I gained more confidence swimming and doing all the fancy types of swimming like the breaststroke I was faced with the biggest test in my life. The last day of summer camp had come and they called us to the diving end. I’m looking at this diving board like are you kidding me? You know its too high if you have to take a ladder up to the top. Thankfully, we didn’t have to go on the diving board but we did have to swim alone in 17 feet water. Yikes!
Now as a 13 year old, this is good enough to make your heart sweat and that’s exactly what happened. They gave us a tiny paddle board and told us to swim from the 17 foot water to the 3 foot. The counselor called me up to go next and a lifeguard was waiting in the water just in case. I was hesitant. I looked at that water and couldn’t even spot the bottom. This was basically an ocean for me. The counselor then pushed me in. I don’t why people continue to think its ok to do this to only me. I’m moving my legs and feet. I was not about to go down. I swam my tail off. And got there quick. Before I knew it I was in the clear. I made it. That is the day I had conquered my fear of deep water. You won’t see me swimming in the middle of the ocean but if push comes to shove, literally, I will be more than ready.