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prompted. (3rd edition)

I know it may seem as though my entries for 2012 are just responses to classwork, but until I decide on a topic I personally want to elaborate into a blog entry, I feel that these thoughts are perfectly right. Besides, this is a way to further improve my writing through constructive criticism. So let’s have it!

This is a response to yet another class prompt, again, for the same class.

Prompt: Write your own essay entitled “Crazy things seem normal, normal things seem crazy.” Essentially develop your own ideas based off this title.

My response:

 Crazy Things Seem Normal, Normal Things Seem Crazy

            “It’s just water, it can’t hurt you,” they tell me. “The deep end is only five feet deep. You’re taller than that, you’ll be fine.” What they don’t understand is that what may seem like “just a swimming pool” to them is the main character of my nightmares every week.

Although it may be a normal thing for most children to do, learning to swim was something that never seemed important until when I was about 12 years old and went to my first pool party. Because the situation had never popped up before and my parents were always busy at work, I suppose that getting me swimming lessons wasn’t something on the top of their agenda. The pool party I went to wasn’t for one of my own friends, it was one of my brother’s friends. Not only did I feel awkward for being the only person at the party, parents included, who avoided the pool as much as possible, I felt weak and unreasonable. It was just water after all, right? After mentally preparing myself for over an hour, I decided I would brave this water filled hole that everyone else seemed to be enjoying so much. Unfortunately, being able to swim is a large part of enjoying yourself in a pool. I learned this the hard way.

At first, the water seemed rather pleasant, but then again, only my feet and calves had ventured into it. At that age, I had no real measure of how deep the water was besides my arms and personal height since there was no physical sign posted displaying the height of the “deep end.” I wasn’t on the deep end and more so in the middle of the two extremes, but I was definitely curious. I first tried to test the height by leaning back and trying to stick my feet into the pool until they touched the bottom. Those who know how to swim probably know that this method will eventually lead to a dead end because one’s legs are only so long and unless they are long enough to reach the bottom, you’ll eventually fall into the pool. And that’s exactly what happened to me.

With a big splash, I had fallen into the pool and although it may not have been as deep as it felt, I had no idea what to do. For what felt like several minutes but may have only been a few seconds, I flailed my arms and attempted to swim like everyone else. Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was doing. Eventually, the father of one of the party guests fished me out of the pool and placed me poolside where I could catch my breath. “Are you okay?” he asked me. I don’t know my exact words but I’m sure they were something to calm the nerves of the parent so he would leave me alone and allow me to decide for myself if I was truly “okay.”

Eight years later, I still don’t know how to swim. In fact, the idea of swimming often gives me stomachaches and although I’ve tried to consider conquering my fear in the past, I don’t see myself ever really learning how to swim without lots of help and slow training. Although people will constantly tell me that “water can’t hurt me,” my mind never seems to accept this fact. The idea of swimming, or rather, “deep” water is crazy.

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