Water Wings Essay

But when my feet hit bottom I summoned all my strength and made what I thought was a great spring upwards. It seemed that the depth was ninety feet instead of nine feet. Finally, in the month of October, he hired an instructor to teach him swimming. It ensured that in case William drowned, the instructor would pull him out.He could not hold his breath and felt as if his lungs would burst. He would practise for an hour each day, five days a week. William swam across the length of the pool for several weeks. And whenever I did — whether I was wading the Tieton or Bumping River or bathing in Warm Lake of the Goat Rocks — the terror that had seized me in the pool would come back. It would grab him completely, disable his limbs and grab his heart.

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I flailed at the surface of the water, swallowed and choked. I had started on the long journey back to the bottom of the pool. He looked around for help, for any rope, ladder or water wing with the help of which he could rescue himself. It was as if a chunk of yellow water had grabbed him. It was like an electric shock that ran through the whole body. He could neither move his limbs nor call out for help. In the month of April, the instructor told William that now he could swim. The terror returned only once when he was in the middle of the lake.

I tried to bring my legs up, but they hung as dead weights, paralysed and rigid. William waved his hands at the surface of the water for help, but he swallowed water and choked himself. He asked him to dive into the pool and swim the length of the pool in a particular style called the crawl stroke. I still wondered if I would be terror-stricken when I was alone in the pool. When he put his head under water, he saw water all around and the fear returned.

He was frightened, but he used his intelligence and on his way down the pool, planned to push himself up when he reached the bottom. Then my eyes and nose came out of the water — but not my mouth. Then he taught me to put my face under water and exhale, and to raise my nose and inhale. Bit by bit I shed part of the panic that seized me when my head went under water.

He thought that he would make a big jump to the surface, lie on his back and swim to the edge of the pool. Those nine feet were more like ninety, and before I touched bottom my lungs were ready to burst. I opened my eyes and saw nothing but water — water that had a dirty yellow tinge to it. I reached up as if to grab a rope and my hands clutched only at water. William took a long time to reach the bottom of the pool. William tried to ward of the fear but was unable to get rid of it. The rope went through an overhead pulley and was held by the instructor.

He compares his situation to a person who sees a nightmare and fights against the dreadful dream but is unable to ward it off. He felt pain in his lungs and his head felt a sensation of beating. He realized that death was peaceful and only the fear of death was fearful.

He was getting unconscious, but he could recollect the plan to save himself – as his feet touched the bottom, he would take a leap and jump up to the surface in a jiffy. Nothing but water with a yellow glow — dark water that one could not see through. In between the phase of terror, William recollected the plan that he had to take a jump as he touched the bottom of the pool. He recollects the words of one of the Presidents of America – Roosevelt. As it a first-person account, he has described it deeply. After some years, William came to know of a waterfall and wanted to go in it.William was no longer scared as he knew that he could swim. When he quotes Roosevelt ““All we have to fear is fear itself” he tries to draw a larger meaning from this experience.I struck at the water as I went down, expending my strength as one in a nightmare fights an irresistible force. Then I would get to the edge of the pool and be safe. Stark terror took an even deeper hold on me, like a great charge of electricity. His voice resounded as the mountain peak named Gilbert peak reverberated it. The experience had a deep meaning for me, as only those who have known stark terror and conquered it can appreciate. There is terror only in the fear of death, as Roosevelt knew when he said, “All we have to fear is fear itself.” Because I had experienced both the sensation of dying and the terror that fear of it can produce, the will to live somehow grew in intensity.William tried to save himself from drowning in the pool and tried to grab something, but as there was water all around, he could not do so. The experience had a great importance in William’s life. The slope from the shallow area to the deep area was not steep. He gathered confidence by watching other boys swim and tried to copy them. I was timid about going in alone, so I sat on the side of the pool to wait for others. He felt sleepy, was tired to jump up, felt nice to be carried in his mother’s arms as he felt sleepy. It ruined my fishing trips; deprived me of the joy of canoeing, boating, and swimming. The shallow area of the pool was only two to three feet deep while the deep area was nine feet in depth. The water was still, and the tiled bottom was as white and clean as a bathtub. In canoes on Maine lakes fishing for landlocked salmon, bass fishing in New Hampshire, trout fishing on the Deschutes and Metolius in Oregon, fishing for salmon on the Columbia, at Bumping Lake in the Cascades — wherever I went, the haunting fear of the water followed me.Douglas was a leading advocate of individual rights. I landed in a sitting position, swallowed water, and went at once to the bottom. The voice asked the boy to carry William to the locker room. Finally, one October, I decided to get an instructor and learn to swim.He was a judge at the Supreme court of USA, retired in 1975 with a term lasting thirty-six years and remains the longest-serving Justice in the history of the court. I was frightened, but not yet frightened out of my wits. I went to a pool and practiced five days a week, an hour each day. A rope attached to the belt went through a pulley that ran on an overhead cable.When his feet touched the bottom of the pool, he gathered all his strength and jumped upwards. Whenever the instructor loosened the rope, he went down into the water and the fear would return. It was after three months of practise that William got comfortable.He had thought that the next moment, he would come out of the pool, but the opposite happened. Then the instructor taught him to breathe in the water. So I went to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire, dived off a dock at Triggs Island, and swam two miles across the lake to Stamp Act Island.


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