Learning to Swim


Swimming at Camp… Camp Rolling Acres.

It was about a week into a 2-week stay when they finally stopping buying my reasons for not swimming.

I had a ‘cold’…. I felt bad… I came late showed up without a suit… I told them I lost it.

The next day they came with me to the cabin and searched my luggage and insisted I put on the suit and come swimming. They waited and walked me to the swimming hole. The kids all filed in swimming, playing around. I took two steps into the water, on the third step, I slipped fell into the deep and panicked. Flailing my arms madly, I sunk in and out of the water. I felt like I was drowning. I was terrified. Within seconds a teen councillor dove in and pulled me out. Made sue I was ok, and wet, took her place again watching over the others.

I remember looking at her, once settled a bit. Standing humbly, dripping hair, stooped a bit from the chill. I stared at her so much in awe. She saved me. She turned her head in my direction, pausing to smile from the corners of her mouth with a look of reassurance before returning to the others.

In the next week, she helped me with my fear, taught me to swim. First lesson, learn to tread water. She swam next to me.  As I tested for my first swimming badge, she was in the water, reassuring me I was ok, she gave me confidence, and made sure I learned not to fear the water.

I still cry thinking how kind she was, how much she helped me then. I learned to swim, got my lifeguard badge as a teenager. 

These tiny moments in one’s life where one person, any person, can remind you that you are ok, that life is ok, and you can overcome fears. It helps if you learn to tread water….