The Swimmer Who Couldn’t Swim

Day 1 Story Telling

Now I’ve life guarded for five years, I’ve swam competitively for over seven years, I’ve been in the water swimming on my own since I was three, yet I still sank in July of 2010. Many people would most likely assume that since I have such vast experience with water, I would never panic around it… wrong! There is one body of water that for some reason I have problems with, that is, rivers. I just don’t like them.  If the current is fast there is no getting across them. There are little critters all around, not to mention river snakes YUCK, but the thing I fear most about rivers is getting caught in a rapid.

July 2010 my friends and I decide to go camping on a river. I didn’t really see the big deal, I never planned on actually swimming in it. The first day we were there we took it easy, just hung around enjoyed nature. The next morning we decided it was time to challenge the river. Because we are all college students we chose the least expensive voyage, river rafting.  Now for those of you who don’t know, river rafting is a big blown up raft, that resembles a mini row boat, but it is made out of this thick plastic type of material.

First mistake we made: letting the boys pack the travel bag.

Second mistake: choosing to do the nine mile trail.

So we all get in the boat and my girl friend and I decide we will sit back and relax as our men paddle the boat. The breeze was amazing, there was a small current pushing us down the river, it was beautiful.

A half hour later that all changes. The sun is now directly above us, the wind has died, and we have to start to help paddle. The water is refreshingly cold, but not worth the risk of going in.

Another half hour goes by. We decide to pull over to the side of the river on a giant rock and rest for a while. Now would be the perfect time to have some lunch and rehydrate our bodies. Well… that didn’t happen. because we let the boys pack the bag they thought the most essential items to bring would be four beers and a pack of cigarettes. YES thats all they brought with them. Let me repeat myself, four beers and a pack of cigarettes. At that point in time we all thought it was funny. (little did we know we still had six miles to paddle before we would be done).

To speed up this story another half hour goes by of pain staking paddling and dehydration. I swear we were starting to see mirages. I personal thought about drinking the river water thats how hot is was getting . This is the point where we begin to give up for a while. We all just layer out on the raft and let it painfully slowly take us down the river.

Heres the good part! I had my feet in the water trying to get as much of my legs in as possible without physically having to put my body in. I had taken my life jacket off because the heat was too much.  I am pretty much in my own mind at this point just day dreaming about when I will be able to have some water when BAM we are headed straight towards a giant rapid.

Instead of my boyfriend telling my in a nice quiet and calm voice, He yells, “WATCH OUT!!”. I am so startled that I completely fall face first off the raft into the river. As the rapids are pulling me down the river I have just enough time to look up and in such a pathetic given up voice I say to my friends, “help me”

They  just standing there, mouths wide open, eyes conveying the message of distress. My face goes back into the water and I think to myself I must get control. I put my hands down to feel out the depth when……… I find that the river is only 2 feet deep. I begin to laugh so hard with my face in the water that I almost choke. I find my footing stand up and laugh so hard that I cannot breath at this point. My friends see me laughing and fine and they chime in as well.  I climb back into the raft and finish my laughter with first lesson in swimming, “never panic”.

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