Friday, May 05, 2006

Bookfield, Steve - Part 2

I decided to unwind by swimming in the hotel pool after the meeting. It was crowded with Parchment people. When I jumped in the three foot deep end, a splashing contest ensued. I really wasn’t into it, having never really liked splashing, so I tried to move away. Steve was in front of me, splashing.

His arm flew out, I thought to splash me, but instead he grabbed my arm and pulled me toward him. I gave him a stern look and he pushed my head under the water. Unfortunately, I had begun to inhale just as he did and I held what was left of the air in my lungs while I went under. I tried to get up quickly, but I couldn’t. I began to struggle to get up. He held me firmly, and eventually I found that I was on my hands and knees on the bottom, unable to budge. Now, I was synchronized swimmer in high school, so I can hold my breath, but I had not been able to get a good breath when I was forced under. Soon, my need for another breath outweighed my desire to struggle. I panicked. I began to punch Steve under the water, and still he did not let me up. I had to inhale; it was becoming an involuntary action. I inhaled water. I thought I was going to die. Just then, he pulled me up.

I tried to inhale and ended up just gasping, because the water in my wind pipe prevented the air from coming in. I could have used some help to the side, but everyone was standing there laughing at me. I made it to the side and threw my arms onto the concrete for support. I began coughing up the water I had inhaled. It was painful. One of the guys looked at my face and realized that I was in trouble. They helped me out of the pool. I continued coughing for about half an hour. Steve came over and said that he had known I was a strong swimmer and that the dunking was just a joke.

I kind of kept to myself for the rest of the day. To this day, I fight not to panic if someone touches me while I am in the water. I suppose I could have bit him; hindsight is twenty-twenty.

(Man splashing water photo credit to Aron Thanks!)


Anonymous said...

i think you're being too hard on yourself; i imagine it's hard to bite someone when you're trying to hold your breath.


mr tickle said...

Thanks for stealing "my" pic ;-)

Sue said...

~~~Did not!~~~ Miss you.

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