The Little Duckling Who Can't Swim

When I was younger, one of my many dreams that I have daydreamed about was to swim and compete worldwide in the Olympics. But as I grew older, I knew that dream would have been hard to become a reality.
     A lot of people don't know this, but I really have no idea how to swim.
     See, my mom and dad grew up in the countryside, where swimming wasn't an important skill,even though my mom moved into the city when she was nine. When they moved here, where I live currently, they had absolutely no idea that swimming was such an important skill.
     In fourth grade, my parents were scavenging across town to sign us up for swimming, and we ended up learning to float. I was absolutely no good at it. After the swimming program that we went to moved to the far side of town, my parents pulled us out of swimming. I was in fifth grade then.
     In sixth grade, I watched as everyone went diving on our field trip, while I stood at the three foot part of the pool.
     Then, during the summer before seventh grade, I went to my aunt's sister's swimming pool at her summer home in New York. One side was shallow. I had no idea that the other side of the pool was nine feet deep. I drowned (and got my aunt's sister's iPhone soaked). And although it was nice of my aunt's mom to say that she'd ask my parents to sign me and my brother up for swimming lessons, I was red with embarrassment.
     This June, I began to swim at the YMCA, taking lessons. And it turns out, that I swam better than I thought! But every once in awhile, I have those days where I just can't swim. Yesterday was one of those days.
     In class on Tuesday, we had to learn how to breathe better on our sides. I did as they told us, but I simply couldn't do it. In the middle of the pool, I kept on coughing and sputtering out the water. My two instructors kept on yelling at me to keep going. I swam and swam. Water kept on going into my eyes and hair was in my face. I wanted to cry. Horrible.
     The only person who cheered me up was a little boy who was about eight, with a creamish complexion and a face sprinkled with freckles. He was asking me a lot of silly questions, and I was laughing, because he reminded me of myself when I was younger-- curious with non-stop questions.
      On the last few reps a lot of "What if?" questions went through my mind. What if I didn't pass? What if they put me back another level? What if they say that I swam horrible? Then, I was just laughing at myself. I always told everyone that to look at the bright side of things,to be optimistic. Why wasn't I listening to my own advice? Those last several yards I pushed myself hard.
      The coaches, at the end, just looked at me, and said,"You did better that last stretch. Good job." And on the inside, I was happy.
      And that day, I learned a lot of lessons:
      Stay optimistic.
      Heed your own advice.
      "What if?" questions can go both ways. You can think of them positively and negatively. But if you think negatively and putting yourself down, then you aren't going to do well. Instead, look at things positively and turn it into a goal. This really helps.
      Uh-oh. I have testing for swimming to see if I'm moving up a level or not. Wish me luck!


  1. Hi, I'm Emily. I'm a swimmer too, but I have been my whole life. I totally understand what you mean, I was at my grandparents house one summer with my cousins who couldn't swim very well and one of them drowned. My grandparents knew CPR and saved her, but I've it scared me. Even after the medics came.

    I've stuck with swimming for years now, it's getting harder now because I don't get along with my coach. I don't want to leave this team and my friends, but it's hard to enjoy staying. Thank you for the inspirational post!

  2. Good luck, by the way!!!! :D


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