exorcise, family, funny, humor, humour, kids, mom humor

Swimming Sideways Saves Lives!

I have never been an avid swimmer. I took lessons as a kid, and we went swimming ALOT, but I just never excelled at it.

Truththfully, I think I've always believed myself to be a better swimmer than I really am. Throughout my life, I've had a variety of bad water experiences, though I never really feared the water.

Once, when I was around the age of 5, and before I knew how to swim, I was with my babysitter at the lake. I watched her older son dive off the pier and swim to shore, which enticed me. So, while my babysitter bronzed herself in the sun and caught up on the latest gossip magazine, I went ahead and dove in….

Obviously, this led to my near drowning. I flailed my arms and inhaled water for a long time, before she finally finished her article and lifted her head, most likely in search of tanning oil. She saved me, but I'm not sure whether to consider her my hero, or the worst babysitter in the world! Either way, I survived, and it still didnt really make me scared of the water.

A few years later, around the age of ten, and after I learned to swim, I remember telling my “brand new step mother” that I was a VERY good swimmer. She was pleased to hear this and agreed to let me swim out to the deep part of the lake with her, where all the cool people hung out! We hung out at ALOT at this lake, when we were kids, but before this day I wasnt allowed to cross the floating rope line, that led to the deep.

I made it to the middle just fine, feeling so proud and grown up, knowing my brothers were looking on with envy. However, since I didn't have great swimming endurance yet, I nearly drowned on my way back. Keep in mind that my newfound mother grew up in California. She had learned to swim in the REAL ocean!

She turned around a couple of times to ask if I was okay. In reality, I was dying. My head was bobbing in and out of the water, my lungs were sore from inhaling a good amount of urine filled lake water, and I probably should have waited a whole half hour, after eating my bologna sandwich, before coming on this trip. But, I wanted her to think I was cool, so I fought for my life! So when she asked if I was ok, I would conger up my best dog paddle stroke, long enough to pull my head out of the water to say “Oh yeah! REAL good! Lets keep going”!

I'm not sure how I survived, but I did. I believed I had truly impressed this new Californian lady with my swimming techniques….. It wasn't until years later that she told me I was a horrible swimmer, and told my dad that very day, that she would never take me swimming in the deep water again! I'm glad she waited until I was older to take a stab at my self esteem, because I may not have made it to adulthood:).

On this latest trip I took to Mexico, I rented boogey boards with my kids. Each time we would catch a good wave to shore, we would get braver and braver, going a few extra steps deeper, to catch a better wave. Well, on three different occasions, and with three different children, the wave wouldn't take us, and the ocean kept pushing us out further. On all three occasions, I panicked and was yelling “LISTEN TO ME! SWIM SIDEWAYS. IT'S THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE IT TO SHORE SAFELY. AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD….DON'T PANIC!

Obviously, I wanted the children to stay calm. In reality, we probably weren't out very far, but I couldn't touch! On one of the occasions, someone saw us paddling sideways to save ourselves and asked if we needed help. I said “please” as calmly as possible, and he basically walked to where we were and pulled us to safety. He told us we were lucky he was a life gaurd and we really should have stayed where we could touch!! I felt glad to be alive.

The other two times however, no one came to rescue us. We had to fight for our own lives. In my previous two stories, you may have noticed I fought hard for my life, knowing for sure that if I inhaled just a few more breaths of water I would be rewarded with life, and maybe a small case of pneumonia. This time, as an adult, I fought hard for about a minute, maybe two, AND I had a flotation device! We paddled hard sideways, until my breath became labored and my muscles became fatigued. Then I just laid my head on the boogey board, and thought “This is it. It's my time. I might as well not fight it. Take me waves, for my body has fought as long as it can”. Both times I was brought back out of my death hallucinations, by one of my kids saying “Watch out mama”, before a huge wave came crashing down on us, and took us to safety.

I'm not sure why I didn't fight as hard as an adult to live, than I did as I child, but it made one thing very clear to me in that instant…. I would have NEVER been a survivor of the TITANIC!!



12 thoughts on “Swimming Sideways Saves Lives!

  1. OMG – this brought back memories !

    when I was at university, I went on a camping holiday one summer to the south of France with my girlfriend and her best female friend

    my girlfriend was just learning to swim

    I could swim, but was out of practice

    fortunately, the beach where we were camping was ideal (sort of) for beginner swimmers

    when you stepped into the sea, you could walk for about 150-200 yards and the water didn’t reach above your waist

    but then, there was a kind of shelf or cliff where the sand just fell away and you were straight away in very deep water

    on the fateful day, my girlfriend ventured further out than she had intended, then panicked when she couldn’t feel the sand beneath her feet

    I encouraged her to swim just a few meters towards the beach and she would once again be able to feel the ground beneath her feet and paddle the rest of the way back to the beach – but by this stage she was in a panic and flailing her arms around

    I swam towards her – ready to put into practice the techniques I had been taught when I passed my Life Saving Certificate at school – but as I neared her, she threw herself at me and plunged me beneath the waves

    when I spluttered my way back to the surface, having swallowed (it felt like) a gallon of water, she was waiting for me

    as soon as my head broke the surface, she lunged at me, pushing me under once again

    as I struggled once more to the surface, with a burning pain in my lungs, I remembered the wise words of my swimming teacher on what to do in this type of situation and I resolved to punch the bitch before she drowned me

    when I got back to the surface, however, it was academic, because she was gone – whisked off in the arms of a German holidaymaker who had witnessed her distress and had come to her rescue

    I could see her lying on the beach, surrounded by folk making a fuss of her

    and me?

    I was so weak from my exertions and the water I had swallowed, I couldn’t make it back to the beach

    that shelf I mentioned?

    I couldn’t get past it

    the undertow was too great

    I didn’t even have the strength to call for help

    try as I might I just couldn’t get past that ledge

    I would get over the lip, half carried by the waves, but despite digging my hands into the sand, when the waves retreated they dragged me back into deeper water with them

    fortunately for me, my girlfriends BFF saw I was in trouble and helped pull me to safety

    [of course, this led to some awkward social dynamics for the rest of the vacation]

    • That seems way more serious then my minor dilemma…. I would have for sure died if this happened! Loved your story, and thanks for reading:)

  2. I was a competitive swimmer, but my parents couldn’t swim a stroke. My dad was terrified of water. Even though I was swimming at the highest level my Dad would not sit at a pool while we were playing if we went to the deep end!
    How you got yourself into so many near drowning situations I will never know. Maybe you should have been more like my Dad. Fear is a good deterrent!

    • Lol… I think you’re right:)….My mom is terrified of the water and always reminds us that we can drown in a teaspoon of water!! She normally tells us this when we are in the water, and while she is chain smoking cigarettes with her life preserver on. I guess your born to swim…. Or not:)

  3. Christina Moore says:

    Tia – your blog makes me laugh! And both of these most recent posts cracked me up!!! I can personally relate to being Madonna infatuated AND being a poor swimmer who occasionally finds herself in over her head – literally and figuratively! Thanks for the chuckles and guffaws! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Well, thank you you little sweetie, and thanks for reading. I’m glad to see you haven’t drowned:)…. Did you also own black velvet Madonna pictures:)… We are so much alike already!

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