I dreaded swimming classes. The pool just seemed too deep to my liking. Of course, I could hold my breath as long as I wished, or so I thought; but the entire problem was to keep my body afloat.
Taking swimming classes during vacation was my mother’s idea.
“What if I drowned? Maybe I am heavy enough to sink?” I wondered aloud, but her mind was made up.
“You can do it and will do it,” she said firmly and as if to drive home the point, “No pain, No gain” she concluded.
A week of training had only reaffirmed my fear for deep waters and my ability to stretch the limits of my coach’s patience.
As if to teach me a lesson for trying his patience, he took me to the deepest side of the pool and simply ordered, “Swim.”
Fear gripped me as I struggled to keep my body afloat. I vaguely remember screaming a prayer or calling out to my father (who lives across the seas in Abu Dhabi) to come to my rescue. And then, I found myself turning on my back in a half-attempted backstroke. I looked up at the vast blue sky above me and the sight calmed my strained mind. After that, it was just me under the clear blue sky, my apprehensions forgotten. I felt free of the fears that had weighed me down. I swam effortlessly to the other end of the pool.
My mother had been right all along, my fear was in my mind and I had conquered it. As if to reinforce this, I saw my mother standing by the side of the pool with the other parents, her face aglow in a smile laced with pride.
Shreya M. Nair
Shreya is a Grade 7 student. Inspired by the late Indian President and Missile Man – Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam she aspires to be a scientist at Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). She enjoys sketching and painting when she is not reading her favorite book.