Swimming out of control?

January 30, 2017 — by Stephen Ding

“One two! One two!” I repeated in my mind as I attempted to swim across the vast expanse of water known as a “pool.” My heart pounded in my chest, quickly rising above its normal rate. “I’m halfway there,” I thought as I looked down into the deep, dark waters. In that moment, I spotted a small hole, and that’s when everything — or, more specifically, my imagination — went wrong. A great hulking shark squeezed its tubby body through and started swimming towards me. CHOMP!

As a child who was really into exercising, I took up swimming as a way to release my unneeded energy. Although I enjoyed swimming, I always wondered what the small little hole on the bottom of the pool was for. Having a creative imagination, I always feared that a shark would find its way through the little hole and attack me.

The thought of a shark swimming its way from the ocean into a pool really scared me, and with every passing day, the fear grew and grew, solidifying itself in my mind. Every day, before getting into the pool, I would find myself constantly staring at the little hole, waiting for a shark to pop out of nowhere.

Now, as an educated individual, I should know that sharks should have no business in pools or with children learning how to swim. They happen to be saltwater animals and have 0 percent chance of swimming through pipelines with their large bodies. Even if a shark happened to get itself onto land, it would also have to traverse miles of land before making its way into a pool. Despite this, movies like “Sharknado” only added to my fears. The thought that sharks could come flying along with tornados terrified me. Even worse was that the “Sharknado” series included four movies.

Nevertheless, my constant fear of sharks has haunted me to this day. Although I know I won’t find them squeezing out of a small hole, every single time I go swimming, I always feel like there is a dark figure lurking behind me.