The Deep End!

The day I learned to swim, it was a hot summer day at camp. The camp was called Brighter Days for inner city kids in the Nashville area. The Day that we went to the pool to take our first dip or real swim at the age of 7 was a very emotional one. With me being a quite athletic kid at this time in my life, I felt that swimming should not be tricky, the only problem was, I had never been taught to swim. With the bus getting closer and closer to the Rose Park Community pool, my heart began to beat faster and fast. While everyone else was laughing about what they were going to do when we got to the pool and how they would jump in the deep end. As I stepped foot onto the pavement to enter the pool area I began to feel that this might not be as bad as I imagined, but as the lifeguards gave the safety talk, I again began to doubt myself. The only swimming I knew was what I saw other people do, which in the end seems to be a good thing with me being a visual learner.

After the safety talk the whistle was blown, BEEEP!! As I crept closer to the cold water, thoughts of frigid ice water from the pool encasing me grew larger. But to see all of my friends jump and splash happily made me feel left out and after a while I took a step back and plugged my nose to prepare to jump in, SLASH!  With water rushing all around me I tried hard to regain mental stability and not panic. Calm I return to the surface of the water. At that point in my life I felt like I had conquered a major obstacle. With my new found ability to not fear the water or what it may have done to me I could now take place amongst my friends and have an exciting time at the pool.

After a couple times coming back and playing in the shallow end of the pool, I decided it was time to conquer the big kid’s domain, ten feet deep. When I got the urge to step over to the life guard tower and tell her that I was ready to take the ultimate swim test she simply replied, “Are you sure about this, and are you ready?” I said “I think so”. At this time she positioned herself at the opposite end of the pool where I had to swim across. I knew once I jumped in there was no turning back. As my feet kicked and arms wildly churning. I start to think about the bottom of the pool and how I could not feel it. I began to freak out and lose my breath. With everyone around me watching, I knew in my mind that I could not fail and embarrass myself. And before I knew it I had conquered water.

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2 Responses to The Deep End!

  1. I also had a similar experience when I went to a pool here in Greenville, SC. I was maybe in 5th or 6th grade, and it was a family trip. There was a slide that was on the 8ft side of the pool. My cousin’s couldn’t swim so they were afraid to take the swim test. Which allowed you to get on the slide if you passed. I was a new swimmer, but I decided to try anyway. I was nervous because my family was watching me and the life guard seem very mean. I swam and passed, and got on the slide maybe twenty times. It was my first water slide I really enjoyed it. I completely understood when you said were more motivated to pass because of you surroundings.

  2. somerfaust says:

    I had the same feeling with not wanting the bigger kids to be able to get the best of me. I have always been competitive with things even when there isn’t really anything to compete with. I make it a game within myself. We played shark in the deep end and that is how I got my feet on the other side of the rope. With the adrenaline pumping to not get yourself caught amazing things can happen!

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