Monday, January 9, 2012

Sink Or Swim

Seven years old and I couldn’t swim. Pitiful, I know. My dad must have felt the same way because one hot summer day, a Saturday as I recall, he took me and my brother down to the river. It was time I learned to swim, he said.

I don’t know if he could tell it or not but, I was sort of scared. I wasn’t afraid of water in general, just that particular water. I’d heard all kinds of stories about the river with its raging and churning white water rapids and the deep, powerful undercurrents. The fact that these stories pre-dated the building of the dam, not more than a mile from our swimming hole, was lost on me. Sure, the river looked calm enough but all those horrible stories of people jumping or falling in and then being swept away in the current, never to be seen again were still in my head.

Then, my desire to swim overcame my fear and I waded out into the water. I was ready. My dad held a finger through my belt loop, so I could practice without sinking – or so he claimed. After a few minutes of kicking and splashing, I actually started moving forward. And then – my belt loop broke! At that point, it was literally, sink or swim. Usually, faced with such a situation, most people swim. Not me, I sank.

Of course, my dad fished me out of the water, even before I had time to cough or splutter. But, that was the end of my swimming lesson that day. And I refused to go back to that river.

Later, I did learn to swim but not before a few more episodes of sinking. My brother rescued me – probably against his better judgment considering how annoying I could be.

I’m not quite sure why swimming was such an important thing to learn though; it’s been several years now since I’ve gone. Still, knowing how to swim and not going is much better than going and not knowing how. Not being able to swim is kind of a sinking feeling!

Bruce A. Borders, author and songwriter has over 500 songs and 9 books. Over My Dead Body, and The Journey, his latest books, are available on Apple I-Pad®, Amazon Kindle®, Barnes & Noble Nook® and Sony Reader®, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords. For more information, visit See Bruce’s Amazon Author Page at or view his Smashwords Profile at

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