I should actually have a fear of water I think. I have had a few things happen to me over the years that would probably make someone have certain reservations about getting into the water. Growing up on a farm I was never formally taught how to swim. Instead we would play in creeks, ponds and watering holes. One day Geoff (my older brother and my best frienemy when I was a kid) and I were playing in the creek. We stopped for a drink from a natural spring when I looked down. I couldn’t believe what I saw. LEECHES! I feared for my life. I cried. I tried to pull them off and they wouldn’t come. Thinking fast on his feet, Geoff remembered that they don’t like salt and it would kill them. He saved my life! He peed on my leg and they shriveled up and died. He was my hero.

The next instance was a bit more traumatic and I don’t know if I ever told my parents. Geoff and I decided to go swimming in the pond that was up from the house (starting to see a theme maybe). We were swimming with the cows (you can imagine what was in the water considering) when all of a sudden I inhaled a bunch of water and started flaily about. Geoff, again saved my life, pulled me up from under the water and dragging me to bank. He beat me on the back until I threw up in the pond. I had almost drowned. The closest to drowning that I ever want to be. But unfortunately not the last time.

The final instance I will mention was when I was actually in my 20’s. I was living in San Diego and it was the 4th of July. I went to the beach with a friend of mine who convinced me to try to swim in the ocean with fins. Since it is hard to walk in fins on land, it is “easier” to put them on while in the water. Standing in the ocean trying to get these stupid fucking fins on, the waves kept coming and knocking me over. My breaking point was when a wave came and pulled me under when I wasn’t ready and didn’t have time to take a breath before it took me. Waiting for the wave to pass, I thought this is it. I’m going to die here because of these really stupid fucking fins. It passed and I popped up coughing and hacking and walked my defeated ass back to my towel where I stayed the rest of the day.

I think I should fear water a lot but I’m glad I don’t.

I actually have more of a fear swimming in a pool than I do in any other swimming situation because I was told as a kid that if you pee in the pool, because of the chemicals they put in it, the water will turn red around you. As a kid I hated being embarrassed because of my asshole two older brothers would make sure to make a deal of it. So I NEVER peed in the pool and honestly still won’t. As an adult I realize that this is something you are told as a kid so you don’t pee in the pool. It has stuck with me in fear that maybe just maybe I am actually swimming in the only pool that could have that “special” chemical.

So this week I have had some stomach issues. I ended up with the flu on Wednesday so both Tuesday and Thursdays swim were interesting. I got into the pool and I felt the gurgle. Deep breath, I will get through it. Mid swim I felt a gas bubble move. I spent the rest of my swim both days clenching my butt cheeks in fear. Two thoughts crossed my mind. The first was, if I fart while I’m swimming will they (the lifeguard) see the bubbles from the fart? The second was, is this really a fart or something more. Which then brings back my fears of the pee and colored water. The last thing I need is my fart creating a brown stream behind me. I just kept telling myself….don’t fart in the pool!!

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Another successful swim completed with no farting!