Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels


by Rabiyah, age 12.

I love swimming. It is so much fun to cool off, especially on a hot day. I love the feeling of the cold water and the smoothness of the tiles on the floor. I like hearing the laughter of families playing and seeing everyone with a smile on their face. I used to take swimming lessons. I got to learn new things and have fun all at the same time. While I liked the classes, there was one thing I was afraid of; the diving board.

I am afraid of heights. I don’t like having my feet off of the ground for long. The diving board is one of the things that I fear because of how far up I have to be. Every class, I prayed that I wouldn’t have to jump off the diving board. The first two weeks of class passed and I didn’t have to think about it, but at the end of the second week of class, I heard the one thing I dreaded.

My swimming teacher started off by praising me. She said, “Good work this week. You are getting better at swimming.” I smiled warmly and was happy, but that happiness evaporated in a second after she said, “Next week, we will jump off the diving board.” I smiled weakly as my mom and I left.

The next week, it was hard to focus on anything else. I tried to push the thought of jumping off the diving board out of my mind. It was so hard because my fear had consumed my mind. I was so afraid that I thought about skipping class, but I knew I couldn’t skip forever. I decided to go to class and face my fear.

On the day of class, I was shaking . Not from the coldness of the water, but from fear. I tried my best to enjoy the class even though it would be time to jump off the board. The hand on the clock in front of the pool ticked as the time for the end of class drew nearer. Then my instructor said, “Class is almost done. Let’s jump off the diving board now.” Trembling, I got out of the pool and followed my instructor to the diving board.

The white diving board was tall and it loomed above me at the deep end of the pool. My instructor walked up to the diving board and explained how to jump off. It was hard to listen. The only thought on my mind was, “It’s so tall. I don’t think I can do this.” When she began explaining, I had to convince myself to listen by telling myself, “I need to learn how to do it right if I am ever going to jump off.” I was hoping that my instructor’s explanation and demonstration would take longer, but it went by in the blink of an eye. Soon enough, I was on the diving board.

My stomach dropped when I lugged myself up the ladder and quickly glanced down. The diving board seemed to be many feet tall and as I looked down into the water that suddenly seemed so deep. I was terrified of jumping off. I felt as if time slowed down. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to conquer my fright and have fun, but I was paralyzed with fear.

I finally decided what to do. I took a deep breath and jumped. I felt the air brush my feet as I plummeted. I kept my eyes shut tight and thought about what the instructor said. I ran the steps she listed through my head . I landed in the water with a splash and I felt a wave of water crash over me. The sounds of laughter were silenced as water flowed into my ears. I lifted my head, wiped my hair out of my face and swam to the edge of the pool. I shivered. I was shaking and dripped water while I walked up to the instructor . It was the end of class. I sighed with relief. My shoulders relaxed and my body became less tense. I grinned widely because I had done it. I overcame my fear.

category: Personal Narrative



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