Controlled Drowning

CoachLuisMSMS
5 min readNov 15, 2023

During the last years of college, there were some classes that needed to be taken to graduate with my minor in physical education. Two that I was shocked and had full on fear about was swimming. The courses were required to graduate, and I had never swum in anything larger than a puddle on the street. Needless to say that I was like a cat in the water throughout the initial class. Eventually, I was able to get some basics down, and with a slightly modified front crawl I passed the first class. Intermediate swimming, was a different story, and for many aspects of it they were pushing me to the edge of drowning if uncontrolled. The teacher for this class one day told us that we needed to master treading water with bricks and fins, to be able to understand controlled breathing. Up to that point, I was mostly comfortable because I could float somewhat. During this exercise, that control was lost quickly.

The exercise started by treading water with fins, which is pretty easy. That was until the teacher hollered to switch, and to push ourselves to the bottom of the pool. Needless to say, pushing yourself down that far to touch the bottom is like being on another planet. The visceral response is one of awe, and of pure panic. Luckily, going up wasn’t too bad for this first evolution of the drill. After a few repetitions, we were asked to offer up our fins, and go at the same drill with no safety net. This change caused an increase in adrenaline and fear within me. I can tell you that with fins, most things inside a pool are fairly easy, once you develop the coordination, but by that time you’re pretty cooked after 20 minutes of going up and down with them. We were told to tread water once again, to push ourselves down to touch the ground and then to push ourselves up only when we did touch the bottom. They left one part out, and that was that to touch, you needed to let all the air out of your lungs, if not, you would remain hovering upon the bottom. The fear was real, and in realization, had to be overcome.

“These are serious fears. But they’re not the real fear. Not the Master Fear, the Mother of all Fears that’s so close to us that even when we verbalize it we don’t believe it. Fear That We Will Succeed. That we can access the powers we secretly know we possess. That we can become the person we sense in our hearts we truly are. This is the most terrifying prospect a…

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CoachLuisMSMS

A man who is learning all he can about the human and technological conditions of the world, so he can help others find their way.