Even Though I Nearly Drowned Trying, I Never Felt More Capable Of Doing What I Set My Mind To
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Even Though I Nearly Drowned Trying, I Never Felt More Capable Of Doing What I Set My Mind To

I managed to dig out something valuable from the constant struggles I have had when it comes to swimming.

Even Though I Nearly Drowned Trying, I Never Felt More Capable Of Doing What I Set My Mind To
Daria Nepriakhina / Unsplash

Some of my earliest memories include my parents constantly trying to teach me how to swim and being unable to get past the part where I go inside the water. Up until I turned around 10-years-old, I had no idea how to move in a swimming pool without latching on to someone else. Sharing this story to my friends is always tough since learning how to swim is one of the basic essentials of childhood.

Yeah. Not for me.

The day I learned to swim was a medallion that I earned for both bravery and success — one that I thought I’d never take off. Unfortunately, I let that pride get to my head. A few summers ago, I could almost guarantee that I left that medallion on my nightstand just before heading down to Florida for a beach trip. I was excited as could be to jump, run and swim around in the breezy ocean, especially because it would mark my first beach trip where I actually got in it.

So, after checking into the hotel, my dad and I decided to make our way to the beach while the rest of our family unpacked. We grabbed our boogie boards and boogied our way to the edge of the sandy shore. My dad went inside the water before I did, and I watched him flawlessly ride the big waves that threw themselves against him and tickled my toes once they reached me. I was so excited to finally face the fears that I overcame.

I remember my breath shaking from both the adrenaline and the slightly cool, windy air when I said to myself, “I’m actually doing this.”

So I did.

I ran as far into the ocean as my legs desired; my dad had to stop me from going too far. He gave me many pointers while I rode the waves the first few times. and he looked very impressed with how well I was doing. I was very confident. Perhaps a little too confident.

I knew that I no longer needed help and made him go back to the shore. He kept on denying, but I was too persistent. “I’m not a little kid anymore!” I yelled. “I can do this.” As a father like him naturally would, he believed in me. So he went back.

That was when a huge wave knocked me underwater, and I couldn’t get back up. After getting trapped under my boogie board, it took me a while to find my way above the water to catch my breath. And as soon as I did, another wave hit me, and I was back at square one. While I kept getting pulled under the current, flipping over and over, the string on my boogie board wrapped around my ankle tighter and tighter. I still remember feeling like my foot was going to get cut off as well as the salty taste of the water that forced itself into my mouth.

I was wondering where a lifeguard could possibly be or if they even existed anymore. I thought about my dad and how I made him leave me. I was so disappointed in myself. I was afraid that there was nobody left in the ocean, and I was there alone, choking on the thick water. Just like how I did before I learned how to swim, I needed somebody to latch onto.

But then I remembered what I wrote in my diary the day I earned my medallion. “I just jumped.” After my toes touched the surface, I jumped right into the water. I had nothing to fear after that.

So, I pushed my fears aside.

I vigorously unwrapped the string from my ankle and pushed the surface of the board away from me as hard as I could. I jumped above the water and took a deep breath, knowing I would eventually get thrown under again. As I was pulled under the water, I was also pushed towards the shore. I let the waves take me there as I took my own breaths. Finally, I felt the damp sand and knew I was back on shore.

I found my dad and apologized for making him leave me alone when I still needed him. He then said sorry for leaving me when he knew I still needed him. After catching my breath, I told him what happened, and he was extremely relieved, as well as proud.

“You may suck at swimming,” my dad laughed, “But you sure are good at not drowning.”

So, as it turns out, I had that medallion with me the entire time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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