Throughout my entire childhood, I feared pools and water greatly. I could never swim due to the fear and anxiety I would have when entering a pool. It became quite embarrassing over the years due to the fact that my oldest brother and I (7 yr difference) could not swim but our sister could, who’s the middle child. It became draining for me because It limited my fun in the water whenever we were around other children. I hated the sound of splashing and the smell of chlorine. As a child I truly hated going to swimming pools. I finally became determined and confident that I would learn to swim.
I asked my dad one early morning to take me to my aunt’s pool in her subdivision in Piedmont, SC called The Farm. I asked him to teach me to swim. We went and he tried teaching me to swim, but it didn’t work. I panicked each time I tried and would fall under the water. I became frustrated and asked that he drop me off at my aunt’s house before he went home. He did just that, and I walked back to the pool with a cousin of mine who was eleven just as I was, and we walked back to the pool area and got in the pool with no supervision! I jumped in the cold pool and tried swimming under the water. I was successful in swimming under water. I kept doing just that until I heard a lot of splashing. I realized that my face was underwater, but my body was above the water. I lifted my face from under the water while I was swimming and realized that I was swimming above water finally. It was probably the best time I had in a pool. I became so excited that I even taught myself to swim backward that same day. I was excited and confident because I taught myself to swim. I was age eleven when I first started swimming.
Later that day, I went home and told my my siblings and my parents that I taught myself to swim. My mom and sister both congratulated me, but my brother and dad didn’t believe me. Of course my brother who was eighteen at the time didn’t believe because I finally beat him at something. I believe it was a ” shot to his ego.” My dad didn’t believe me because we had just went earlier that day and I couldn’t swim. We called my cousin [on speaker phone] and he told everyone that I actually could. My dad is one who takes credit for anything anybody does, so of course he said he taught me. Till this day he takes full credit for teaching me to swim. We go back and forth each time the story comes up. I’ve learned that we just have to agree to disagree. This was the day I first learned to swim. The funniest part of the story is till this day my oldest brother still cannot swim. He doesn’t even bother to get in a pool anymore.
Since then, I’ve found swimming to be very fun and intriguing. The most interesting part about swimming is when you are with a crowd and go underwater, it seems like no one is there. The water blocks out every noise around you. As a kid, my friends and I would see who could hold their breath the longest. I never wore goggles, because the sight of others was very distracting. Once I submerged my head underwater and closed my eyes, I feel the only thing that exist is myself and the water alone. I didn’t always win, but I always thought it was cool to feel alone in the presence of other people.
I wouldn’t necessarily consider swimming a hobby or talent of mines, but I do find it fun and very convenient during the summer time when it’s very hot.