When I was a child, I almost drowned at a water park. I was in the kiddie pool when one the workers told us to go to the normal sized pool because I looked too big for the kiddie pool. I wasn’t yet big enough for the normal pools either, but that was where I had to go. I don’t remember much about the incident, but I had a black swimming tube around me and I was slowly walking in the pool. Next thing I knew, there was a drop. I didn’t know how to swim, so I just went down under the water. My parents weren’t watching me because they were in the midst of an argument, but the lifeguard saved me.
I never went to a swimming pool or a beach afterwards, but a part of me yearned to learn how to swim. I remember another vacation with my parents where my dad tried to teach me in a hotel pool. There were trust issues, and I couldn’t get out of my comfort zone in order to learn. Fast forward to adulthood and I spent quite a few days laying on a beach, but never touching the water. I was slightly embarrassed about the fact that I never learned how to swim. Something bothered me about living up to the negative stereotype of black people being unable to swim. On many occasions throughout the years I searched for adult swimming lessons but could never find any in my area.