Since the Tsunamis, many have warmed up to the idea of taking swimming lessons. And since water makes over 70% of earth, it makes sense, we're surrounded by water, a vast of it, un-swimable oceans and seas. Still, it's a good idea to know how to navigate your environment especially if you're resident in Lagos, rainy season have a tendency to turn this mega-slum ... Pardon me, mega city into an aqua city. This was my thought when I decided to enrol for the training.
My first class, I met the trainer, stripped down to nothing but briefs. Hey, what did I expect right? What I didn't expect to see was the bulge, it sure wasn't natural. Definitely, there was an activity going on that's got nothing to do with swimming
but everything to do with half-naked women who were all anxious to learn how to swim. This trainer came off too aggressive the way I see it, always quick to come at you, guide you with his hands, touch you wherever he thought needed pressure or balance. I took my time studying the trainer and giggling trainees, turning water in and around, in the name of swimming.
Everyone at the water side got soaked while trainees kicked and swung. You know what, swimming doesn't even seem that hard. At the other end, were little kids diving and swimming like fishes. The trainer can take a hike, I said to myself. I can do this, with all my experience watching people swim in movies.
I moved closer to the pool, dropped my towel and positioned myself to dive, then I paused, a moment of reasoning, I've never dived before, I might hit the floor too hard and break something. Maybe I just walk in and feel the current. So I walked in, didn't wait to think, shut my eyes, held my breathe and pushed myself forward under the water, kicked my legs and swung my arms as I've seen people do for the last hour. I was getting exhausted pretty fast but I told myself, a little more and I'd be touching the other side of the wall. I kept on, the expected moment didn't come. I was at my wits end, I was dying for some air, my legs and arms tired.
God help me! Suddenly, I managed to pull myself up, only about a second before I got pulled back underwater. Too late, I had seen it. Shit! I hadn't moved an inch since I threw myself in the water. I was going to drown and die in a frigging 5ft pool where 5 year olds were ploughing with no pain. I screamed for help but all I could do was drink at least 10 litres of pool water, yuck! Imagine, 5yr old pee is the least one would worry about in the pool filled with horny guys and over-excited girls. I struggled for life. I can't go like this, I thought but underwater, there's no physical enemy, just you and a lot of untouchable, unbeatable body of water. Finally, I gave up.
Then I woke up, I saw a blue-eyed blonde man, "you've got to give me a chance to explain," I said very fast.
The man tried to calm me down but I was frantic, desperate to make a point. I continued, "Listen, I never meant to go against God's commandment, it's just that being in that country (Nigria), you can't call it fair ground. You've gotto cut me a slack!" And the man goes, "hey, relax. Save that for a priest or something." That got me confused and I said, "Aren't you the man they call Jesus?" He laughed out so loud, it echoed in a chorus, I cowered in fear. Oh, Lord! Save me! All of a sudden, my eyes, my ears, my nose, my senses in other words, began to grasp back reality. Shit! I'm not dead. I was by the pool side, being resuscitated by an albino life guard with blue eyes. He does have a sense of humour, doesn't He?
Anyways, time to get my sorry ass out of there. In a situation like that, you can't just get up and apologise for the mix-up, even as grateful as you are someone yanked you out of the water, you can't let them know how close you really are to dying cos the last thing you want is owe a fellow human being your life.
You're as good as dead. So I got up, someone tried to give me a hand, I tried to decline nicely but some people just can't act civilised if their lives depended on it, always looking for a cheap way to buy their way to heaven. I didn't know where that came from, I yelled at him, "don't put your hands on me, you freak!" And fast, the formerly sympathetic crowd turned on me. "Can you imagine this ingrate. You almost got yourself killed in there!" Some girl threw at me. And me, I always alwaaaays have the last word, I faced her squarely, "who told you I almost died? You fools, if you'd let me be, I was just practising my underwater Yoga. I was so close to attaining 'matra' before you guys interfered."
Yeah, 'Matra'. Yikes, if I know what that word means. Of course I made it up. They all looked puzzled. That was my cue. Get out fast now while you're still looking good. I went for my bag and headed out, then life guard shouted, "hey, if you didn't think you were dead, why did you think I was Jesus?"
"What's your name?" I asked him. He replied, "James." And with a cocky smile, I asked, "James, do you ever read the Book?" Again, I got him puzzled, I took off quick and fast. Another escape for me. Phew, nine lives, babe!
The lesson in this short epistle is very important and simple. Don't get into the water if you can't swim! It kills, faster than any disease out there.
Written By 'Charlize.