The Last Splash Essay, Research Paper
The Last Splash
My mother made me take swimming lessons every spring so that I would be able to enjoy my summer by the pool safely. There was always a fear inside of me because I knew that after some point, my feet would no longer be able to reach the bottom. No matter how much I resisted attending the lessons and getting in the water, my mother and my instructor always pushed me in. The dread never would leave though and one day the worst came true.
My mom dropped me off at the YMCA as usual and made sure to watch me go inside. I went to the locker room, put my things away, grabbed my towel and began the dire walk towards the pool. The smell of the room where the pool was located reeked of chlorine and always made my stomach churn and the terror worse. I walked towards the side where my class met, kicked off my sandals and sat down anxiously. Not anxious for the beginning of class, but anxious for it to be over.
As the kids started piling in excitedly awaiting their first splash, I wondered what horror I would be faced with that day. Then I overheard one child say, “hey, we get to jump off the diving board!” The tears began to soak the corners of my eyes and all the kids bouncing around became blurry to me. Was this true? Could I get out this terrible situation? Right then the teacher entered and I knew I was trapped.
The teacher asked everyone to line up in back of the diving board ladder. All the other students eagerly took off to attempt to be the first to jump. I, on the other hand, lingered behind intentionally to get the very last spot. One by one they all sprung off and I knew my turn was rapidly approaching. My palms became sweaty, my mouth dried up and my knees began to rattle together uncontrollably. No matter what I did, the steps kept creeping closer and closer.
Finally, there I was. I tried to run but the instructor caught hold of my arm and lifted me onto the board. I looked down and the pool appeared to be a never-ending abyss and I knew I couldn?t willingly leap into it. It was surrounding me and my instructor was blocking the only way I would get off, by using the ladder. He ceaselessly urged me to just do it and tearfully I protested. He became frustrated with my procrastination and the yells of the other kids wanting another turn, so he hoisted me up and dropped me down.
The fall seemed as long as waiting for Christmas morning to arrive and then I splurged under. I couldn?t breathe, I couldn?t see and I seemed to be twirling about with no power at all. As I tried violently to gasp for air and to see dry land again, something hard hit and then blackness.
When I saw light again, everyone was standing in a circle around me. What had happened? Did I drown? Was I dead? Fortunately, I had survived and learned that the same instructor who had thrown me off the board had allowed another to go immediately after. They had landed on top of me under water and knocked me unconscious.
My worst fear had actually come true and I knew I could never look at the water the same again. I never would be able to view the bottom of the pool but instead a hole that would grab me and suck me under.
That was my last day of swimming lessons. It was also the last day the Cleveland, Tennessee YMCA had a diving board. I have never experienced fear like that since then, probably because I refuse to set foot on a diving board. I guess you could say that was the day of my last splash.