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I Just Thought I Could

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I walk towards the chlorine-scented room with confidence. Telling myself, You can do this... You can do this. Already in the proper attire, I creep into the shining, rippling surface sending shivers up my skin. The change in temperature feels like an ice cube pressed against my spine. Getting used to the change was easy. The clear liquid was up to my knees all around me. Getting deeper now, it reaches my waist. My friends tread water, eagerly asking me to join.

So my wet, young hands grab the metal coping on the side of the pool. As I scoot myself along, my friends bend their legs to launch and quickly take off at speeds unimaginable by beginner’s limbs. I reach eight feet slower now with my friends across the fresh waves behind me.
One hand slides off the concrete side to brace myself as i bend my knees. You can do this, Ian. you can do this. I shoot out of my position hoping to get far enough to stand. Self doubt builds like bricks.

And as the water grabs my body I lose momentum. My legs dangle as they sink further and further downward. I’ve come upon panic and anxiety as I kick and desperately search for dry relief. I try to yell, but my lungs are empty as spurts of water explode and splashing arms search for the edge.

It’s too easy to be defeated. But...I can’t fight on. I stop kicking as I hear a yell and a splash behind me. I feel a hand wrap around me. Darkness.

The dark turns to light and I see faces crowded around me. They all stare at me blankly, half scared, half awe at what they witnessed. Suddenly I heard somebody murmur “Why’d you do it” and the only answer that I can think of is “I thought I could do it, I just thought I could.”



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