By Rachel Morris
Drowning with Fear
When I was little I detested water on my face because I couldn’t deal with water in my nose. Like many know, it’s a horrible feeling. My breathing starts to go off, and the ultimate panic starts. I don’t mind when I’m swimming underwater but I always hold my nose (I became a pro at swimming with one arm before I was introduced to a NP).
To be honest I’m still the same.
So here’s a little story of a time that was probably partly to blame for my fear.
My first and last swimming lesson with my dad.
One of the worst/best experiences that I remember.
I was surrounded by other kids the same age, but dad’s who looked different to my dad. He didn’t really fit in. I remember often noticing that he had tattoos and piercings, he was a cool dad, the dad other dads kept looking at, like he shouldn’t be there.. the dad who all your friends were so amazed by but also a little scared of.
Usually mum would take me to lessons but this time was special, dad was off tour.
He was almost as excited as me, so much so that he jumped into the deep end and swam to me under the water. I lost track of where he was and where he wasn’t. He popped out of the water infant section of where I was sat, it made me laugh. He then held his arms up ready to catch me so I stood up and jumped into the pool.
That was when the first whistle went. Dad got in trouble for letting me to jump in – oops. I remember her (the teacher) swimming over and it was the first time I had ever seen someone speak sternly to my dad.
I remember the look he gave, the kind of look you give someone when you get into trouble and want to laugh. We did laugh. Just after she turned away.
But then we got in line and we acted like the others, we had fun, I swam on my back following the stripes on the ceiling to help me stay straight like dad told me.
We raced, practiced breaststroke and frog legs. And then we got to the end of the hour.
The ‘play’ time part of the lesson that day, the best part. And for some reason I just wanted hang out and do races with my dad. I didn’t want to waste the time we had, he worked a lot and he also toured a lot too. I had an obsession with WWE at the time and tried to do one of those moves where you grab the neck and flip… didn’t quite work out and instead my dad ended up dunking me and I wasn’t a strong swimmer and because I panicked, I let in all of the water. I can still hear the sound of the 2nd whistle…