His views about swimming
He decides to learn swimming when he was around 10 or 11 years old. He had an inherent fear of water as his mother kept telling him about the drowning incidences in river Yakima.
His experience when he was three or four years old
He had gone to the beach in California. He had been knocked over by waves. He felt suffocated and the fear of water took its grip on him.
Being thrown in the pool
Around 10 or 11 years of age he decided to learn swimming at the YMCA pool. He tried to learn by copying others. But one day when he reached before everyone else, he decided to wait. At this time a boy who was around 18 years old came and threw the author in the deep end just for fun.
Struggle to come out
- It seemed a long way
- Lungs ready to burst
- Makes a strategy to hit the surface. & come up like a cork
- Didn’t come out fast – grew panicky
- Felt suffocated; legs paralysed & tight
- Back to the bottom
- lost all breath
- lungs pained, head throbbed & felt dizzy
- Uses the same strategy
- Felt Terrorized & paralysed
- Only Pounding in head confirmed he was alive
- Gave up the effort
- Blackness – wiped fear and terror
- Felt quiet & peaceful
- Passed into oblivion – felt peaceful
Rescue & the feeling after that
He was taken out & was lying near the pool & vomiting. The boy who had thrown him was being scolded. He felt scared for days. Even the slightest exertion upset him.
Problems on account of this fear
He could no longer enjoy any water sport. He wanted to enjoy the sport but every time the terror seized him. It ensured that he never enjoyed canoeing boating & swimming
Efforts to overcome the fear
He decided to get an instructor & learn to swim
- Practiced 5 days a week
- Instructor tied a belt around his waist which passed through a pulley & he held on to the end of the rope
- He went back & forth
- Terror gripped him for at least 3 months
- Taught him to exhale under water & to inhale after raising his knees
- Bit by bit he learnt to kick his legs & relax in water
- Learnt to swim after piecing all information together
- Swam alone in the pool
- Went to Lake Wentsworth in New Hampshire, dived & went to many other places to challenge himself
- Conquered his fear of the water
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