When I was 10 years old, I started doing swimming lessons. (Yes, I didn’t know how to swim until I was about 10-11 years old. I’m a New Yorker who’s never owned a pool, so sue me. ) I thought it was fun because I was taking it with my friends. However, problems arose when it came time for everyone to jump off the deep end and swim on their own. I was always too scared.
Then, on graduation day, I was so excited that I, Hilary Flit, was to graduate from a Guppy to a Minnow with all of my friends. But then, when everyone else had gotten their graduation certificates, I had stood and waited for my name to be called.
“Patsy… Helen…. Adam…. Jennifer….”
The list of classmates that had graduated had went on. Then after a few minutes, the crowd had dispersed.
I hadn’t gotten my certificate.
First I felt a wave of shock wash over me. Then crushing disappointment.
I went over to the swimming coach and asked why I was the only one who didn’t graduate.
“Um… Coach Peggy… Where’s my certificate?”
The coach gave me a puzzled look which then turned into a forlorn, sympathetic one. “Well, sweetie, you were the only one in the class who didn’t jump the deep end like the rest of the kids, so… you didn’t graduate…”
Being a very eager and ambitious 10-year-old at the time, hearing this felt like a punch in the stomach.
So, out of desperation, I looked over to the deep end of the pool, and it looked back at me. I let out a loud gulp.
Well it was nice knowing me, my 10-11 year old self thought.
And without thinking, I jumped.
When I got out of the water, I saw my dad waiting for me at the other side of the pool. I ran over to him and we gave each other a big hug. He was so proud of me. I was so proud of myself. I gave it a shot, but I still didn’t graduate. But at least I got over my fear of the deep end and finally became a real swimmer.
A Flit that turned into a fish.