As I grabbed onto the rope, jumping to the next platform while on the water-rope obstacle course, I felt confident in myself, thinking, “I can make it to the next one without falling into the water.” I looked at it and leaned on the rope, jumping for it, but I missed it just by a hair and went feet first down into the six feet deep water at White Water. I was shocked at first, because it was my first time being in water higher than my 5’4” self, but I got calm in the water very quickly. I felt okay for the first couple of seconds, even if I did not know how to swim. I was using my arms to pull myself back up to the top, and then suddenly I started to panic, shaking my body back and forth, and trying my best to get to the surface. That is when I knew I was drowning.
Strangely enough, while my body was freaking out, my mind was completely calm and the one thing that was going through my mind was, “Why is that cute lifeguard not saving me?” After he watched me wail around for a couple more seconds, he finally jumped in an unheroic way and saved me. When I finally got back to dry concrete, my friends came to me asking if I was okay and laughing hysterically and saying, “I thought you knew how to swim?” I replied, “I don’t, but I thought it would just come naturally to me if I just went in.” After that horrific event, I stay away from pools as much as possible and only go in if I can touch the bottom and my head is above the water without freaking out. It makes me wonder to this day why my parents, like other African-Americans parents, never taught their children how to swim?
There are many factors involving why many African-Americans were never taught to swim and are not willing to learn. In this day and age, most Afri...
... middle of paper ...
... asked my parents why they never taught me how to swim, they simply said that they forgot. Thus, my answer to my question is it was not my hair, economic, social standing or even historical aspects, but my parents' lack of patience and forgetfulness. Nonetheless, these are still some of the major factors explaining why many African-Americans do not know how to swim.
Smith, Earl. Race, Sport And The American Dream / Earl Smith. n.p.: Durham, N.C. : Carolina Academic Press, c2009., 2009. Harvard Library Bibliographic Dataset. Web. 8 Feb. 2014
Southgate, Martha. "Water Damage." The Opinion Pages. The New York Times, 10 Aug. 2010. Web. 5 Feb. 2014.
“What African Americans Can Do To Bridge The Swimming Gap: A Call To Action.” International Journal Of Aquatic Research & Education 5.4 (2011): 449-475. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. Web. 5 Feb. 2014.
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