Friday, April 11, 2008

fearless or just plain stupid?



I have a confession to make. I can NOT swim. I've tried to learn. I've had many friends tell me, "oh there is nothing to it, I can teach you"... Frustrated and tired of watching me drown they usually give up. It DOES look SO easy. So easy in fact, there were times I took great risks in deep water thinking " Damn, everyone is out there swimming and having fun, I KNOW I can do this'
The first time I had that thought, I was at the local public pool in my neighborhood. I was with a friend and her Mom. I was about 11 and had never been diagnosed with a mental disorder, However... I proceeded to the Highest diving board and Jumped into the 12' deep section of the pool. Right before take off.. I quickly thought, let me jump towards the side of the pool, just in case I need to get to the edge to hold on. That saved my life. I had jumped in and began paddling frantically in the wrong direction! I reached the bottom of the pool and then felt for the side and was able to feel my way up and grab hold of the edge. I noticed no one had noticed my foolishness. The lifeguard was busy flirting, my friends Mom was busy reading. Once I caught my breath, I edged my way around to the shallow end. ( It would be several years before my next 'suicide' attempt...)

I was dating my husband, his sisters boyfriend had an Aunt who lived on the Nissequogue River. We went to her house to go canoeing. She wasn't home, but it apparently was okay with her that he used her yard and canoes. In her back yard there was a beautiful waterfall, that swoooshed into the river. Before we set out on our canoe journey, everyone ( except me) decided to jump in and take a swim. They would jump in, in front of this magical waterfall and it would SWOOsssshhh them way out into the river. They swoooshed away and were swimming about, lot's of laughter, a really great afternoon. I was sitting on the bank with my feet in this waterfall. I looked out at the three happy faces and had that feeling again... I COULD SO DO THIS! My husband (boyfriend) must have sensed my nonsensical thought and he began to yell... LU! DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT COMING IN, BECAUSE I CAN'T SWIM AGAINST THE WATERFALLS CURRENT.. Well, fearless stupid me... I didn't wait to hear his complete sentence... I jumped in Heart first instead of head first. The waterfall did it's SWOOsssshhh (it felt wonderful) and it pushed me out towards the others. BUT he was right.. It didn't push me far enough and I began to drown. He fought so hard to swim against the powerful current. Not aware of his dilemma, I remember clearly thinking "shit, why isn't someone helping me?" I dog paddled as hard as I could but I went under many times. My hero ( he had great abs back then) made it to me in time. He dragged me out of the Nissequogue and onto a very buggy bank, where ( due to his fear) he cursed me out for about 10 minutes. The other couple was just laughing their asses off. Because while he was cursing, he was also pulling all these bugs off of me at the same time. I wish he was here as I write this, because he would probably remember what the heck kind of bugs I had laid on top of and was covered in. I swore I would never go into deep water again..... until


After everything settled down, we still wanted to go out in the canoes, where they knew I would be safe from drowning. The three great swimmers were swimming around fine, while I sat in the canoe. My (future) sister in-law decided she wanted to get back in her canoe and didn't know how to go about it.. so my (future) husband said " You can get in Like this" and he put the two canoes together and boosted himself up. WELL! OVER BOTH CANOES TURNED, with ME IN ONE! I was saved quickly this time, but we lost his keys to the car, his wallet, his sneakers... After paddling back to the Aunt's house but with no way to get inside to use her phone, The men decided to hitch hike back home to get the spare set of keys. While, we girls sat on the bank for HOURS, hungry, thirsty and a bit scared of how deserted the area was. Yet, watching the waterfall and reflecting on this day of adventure and fun that we shared, we wished it could have lasted forever.

for more fearless tales visit- sunday scribblings

23 comments:

paisley said...

girl,, let me be the first to tell you,, they ain't lying when they say three strikes and you- are- out... this was freaking hysterical... but i think in all honesty if i were you i would stay the heck outta the water!!!!!!!

Devil Mood said...

It's amazing that you've gone through all that and still aren't afraid of the water!
Seeing as your fearless atitude towards it doesn't seem to end, you should probably try to learn to swim again. The biggest obstacle to learning is fear and you don't have it lol!

Granny Smith said...

I can dog-paddle and float on my back and that's it. I won't even get in the water if my husband is not near to rescue me when I flounder.

This was vivid and funny and I hope it can be published elsewhere. We Sunday Scribblers are a great bunch, but limited in number. Do I have any suggestions? No. Maybe someone else does.

keith hillman said...

A kindred spirit! Like you I am hopeless at swimming, but I adore being on the water. A really great piece - I so enjoyed reading it

forgetfulone said...

What fantastic memories! Oh. wait. Almost drowning. Is that a good thing? Well, you put it in fantastic words. And what a great picture!

myrtle beached whale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
myrtle beached whale said...

On the Nissequogue, you could have just grabbed onto a tire, turd, or floating mobster and you would have been just fine. Wiseguys make excellent flotation devices.

Just Jen said...

You truly are lucky lucy and again you show your luck powers in swimming. The fact that you're still alive is amazing!
remind me never to go swimming with you ;p
I can float, I can hardly save you while I'm floating....LOL

latree said...

I think those experiences that won't allow you swimming.
by the way, I can only do frog style, and nothing else.

Remiman said...

Lucy,
What an incredible tale, scary and funny at the same time. Peer pressure and wanting to be a part of the crowd can be a dangerous thing.When I joined the Navy I swam like you. I taught myself to swim out of a need to survive by using sheer will power.
Although I kayak and canoe extensively, I prefer to keep my body out of the water.
rel

UL said...

oh Lucy, how are you? I missed you. I loved this piece, I cant swim either, never learnt, but you are the brave one.. i am a bit of a coward when it comes to water.. :)

giggles said...

Girlfriend, go out of your box! Promise yourself you'll learn to swim before your fiftieth birthday! Then take adult swimming lessons, surprise your family! Sounds like the desire is there. Funny but scary post!!

Love and hugs Mother Earth!

GreenishLady said...

Ooooh. I had two near-misses before I learnt to swim, but none as dramatic and scary-sounding as yours. Oooh. Gives me the shivers to contemplate it!

gautami tripathy said...

I can't swim either. However, I too love to be in water. One of these days, I will die in water!

shapely ghosts

Tammy said...

Lucy, my crazy brave friend! I have two floating barbells that I can even go into the ocean with and I can't swim. I'll have to take a picture of them and send it.

XXOO

Redheels said...

Just loved your post!! I can swim, but ONLY when the water is NOT deeper than five feet. (: In deep water, I get all crazy.

I am thinking that it would probably be a good thing if we didn't try swimming together.....lol

susiej said...

Lost wallet and EVERYTHING!! Too bad. And too bad for you and the swimming thing... you must learn!

Amber said...

Oh No!! LOL! But you told it good.

...I think I could teach you. ;) lol

:)

Sherry/Cherie said...

As dangerous as these escapades were...I applaud your courage and flying in the face of reason...that you would even attempt these things and not allow your fear to hold you back...incredible. Seriously...take some lessons with a good instructor...you want to swim, you love water...either that or invest in some good water wings!!!

Deirdre said...

I can't swim to save my soul either, but I do love the water. You are far braver than I've ever been. Thanks for a fun read.

Robin said...

Goodness, you're certainly brave anyway. And inordinately lucky.

Here they have pools that offer special private swimming lessons for adults away from the eyes of the crowds. If you're going to keep plunging in you might benefit from a few skills - that or a really good lifejacket ;-).

tumblewords said...

Have you considered knitting? You may be too brave to play watersports without knowing how to swim! Grin. Enjoyed the read, but my fists are still clenched from fear.

Just someone said...

You writing is so interesting; makes you want to come back and check what's new:)
thank you for taking the time to comment....