Just Breathe Essay

Submitted By bthomas111
Words: 1062
Pages: 5

Just Breathe…
The sun beamed down in sweltering waves of heat. It was the kind of dry heat that peeled the paint off of houses. I packed my lifeguarding bag taking as much time as possible. Folding each towel and article of clothing neatly before tugging the zipper of my bag closed. Walking out to my car I allowed my head to hang down facing the steaming asphalt. Unlocking my car doors I placed my bag in the passenger seat and slipped into my car hoping to find some relief from the scorching heat. Much to my dismay my car was identical in temperature if not worse than outside. I turned the key in the car’s ignition. A large piece of me wishing the engine wouldn’t start so I would have a valid excuse to miss my class. Disregarding my wishes the engine started with ease. This was it. I started toward the pool hall with all the windows down; relishing in the chilled summer air flowing through the windows and swirling inside my car. I trudged into the pool hall and entered the change rooms. Unloading my lifeguarding bag taking the same time and amount of care as when I had packed it. Quickly I rinsed my body in the facilities’ showers before my grueling six hour examination began. I made my way towards the pool doors, but before my fingers could come in contact with the slender handle; the pool doors swung open as the children and their parents from the previous lesson fled through their metal arches. The stench of chlorine permeated the dense sticky air. Water lapped across my feet. My wrinkled toes curled over the pools smooth tiled edges. A dark navy bathing suit that was much too tight donned my glistening skin. I lowered my body into the frigid water clinging to the pools walls. Attempting to steal the minuscule amount of warmth they possessed. This was it. My final opportunity to successfully complete the hundred meter underwater swim. The concept of swimming a hundred meters underwater didn’t strike me as hard until I realized you only get one breath. My mind quickly became consumed with thoughts of defeat and failure. I gnawed on my bottom lip until I felt the red metallic tasting fluid from within hit my tongue. It was finally my turn to try and redeem myself. I let my fingers fall from the pools smooth and comforting edges and slip into the chilled water. Tiny curls laid against my forehead as my eyes stayed level with the water. Taking a deep breath I submerged myself into the icy depths of the pool. Pulling my body against the water as fast as possible I began to feel a burning sensation come from my lungs and what little oxygen I had left escaped through my pursed lips. Frantically I scrambled to reach the pools surface looking for the smallest breath of oxygen to relieve my flaming lungs. I had failed and no more than a mere meter from my body was the opposite pool wall. My checkpoint was within a seconds reach and I had failed just like I previously predicted. I made my way to the wall slowly letting the water lap across my face not much caring if it stung my eyes. The instructor gazed down at me with a look of pity written on her face. I threw myself over the edge of the pool and laid in the puddle of my own failure while the others continued to retest and complete their previous failures. The buzzer cut through the air and awoke me from my daze signaling the end of class. As I started to gather my belongings and make my way back to the change room the instructor pulled me aside. I stood in front of her looking at the pattern of tiles in the pool deck not wanting to make eye contact but once she started to speak I did. Knowing it would be rude not to despite how much I felt like wallowing in my self disapproval. She must have seen something in me that I