deep water rescue

deep water, deep water rescue, independence, life, lifeguard, self-reliance, summer, summer jobs, swim, swimming

Deep end

The summer after I graduated from high school was the last summer I worked as a life guard at the public pool in my hometown.  There were 4 of us that wouldn't be back the next summer.  We had all learned to swim, taught lessons, and pulled more than one child out of the water together every summer since kindergarten. 

The four of us were the only ones on the crew (except the head and senior guard) that were deep water rescue certified. And to be clear, we're not talking only about jumping and pulling some tired thrashing swimmer to the side of the pool. This is the spinal injury, strapped-to-a-backboard-and-pull-them-to-the-side-all-while treading-water rescue. Not that we ever had to do it, but we knew how and would be able to if it was needed.

Since we were all leaving, there were two new guards that needed to be certified. It turned out I would be the victim to be rescued. I was fine with the decision and I agreed to it under the condition that K would be there on the side watching in case something went wrong. To which he immedetely agreed.

What could go wrong you ask? Think about being strapped to an aluminum backboard in 8 feet of water. Strapped in around your forehead, crossed over your chest, around your waist, and 2 more crossed over your legs. If those squirrly new guards get tired and drop the board, you sink to the bottom of the pool like… well like you're strapped to a 6 foot long metal board.

On the scheduled day I did my victim dance and floated in the deep end like a spinal injury victim.  All while K kept close watch.  Everything was progressing fine, I had been turned right side up (and could breathe again), head stablized, 6 straps strapped and buckled securly. Until I noticed J getting tired and then I got nervous.

I don't remember how, or who, but I do know that before I realized exactly what happened I was in the fast lane to the bottom of the pool. I remember hearing the clink of the board when it reached the bottom, then undoing the buckles around my chest and waist, and seeing K there making sure my legs were free and following me to the surface.

I also remember him being suprised that I had freed myself so quickly.

The tough part was that since the first attempt had failed, they needed to repeat the rescue to complete their certification. They gave me the option of waiting until the next day to do it but I knew I would fare better if they completed it that day. So with K sitting on the side of the pool watching carefully, I jumped back into the deep water to play the victim. I was completely freaked out the whole time. 

I've been thinking about that deep water rescue over the past few weeks. How many times over the years, or months, have I felt stuck in the deep water?  How many times have I had to tread water only to make it out burned and exhausted and vowing never to get in the deep water again?

My jaded self says that if I don't look out for me, no one else will. But I only believe this is partly true. I know that there are people who would do anything to help me if I needed them to.  They would be there to rescue me.  And there have been plenty of moments that I wanted someone to rescue me.  To save me from the stress/disappointment/frustration I was feeling. But it's always been during those times that I'm reminded, even though there are people there to help, I'm the only one who can truely save me from the deep water.

And many times, it's only the reasurrance that someone is nearby that keeps me brave enough to continue getting into the deep water.

it’s too painful

Adele, changes, independence, life, protection, relationships, wall

“I dare you to let me be your one and only. I promise I'm worth it to, hold in your arms. So come on and give me a chance, to prove I'm the one who can walk that mile until the end of time.” -ADELE

Brick wall


Lyrics from a song that plays on repeat in my brain these days.  It's a really good song, awesome to sing along to.  Filled with emotion.  Something I really connect to.  Except, I've realized that I really dislike that I connect so strongly with this song.  

You see, there was this boy.  I fell hard for him before I really knew him. I didn't give myself the chance to see that he was not good for me.  Then there was some pathetic plea for him to pick me.  Be with me.  Love me.  

It was all very Grey's Anatomy.

After that very pathetic episode of my life, the walls went up.  I dated a little bit.  Here and there.  But I was not willing to let just anyone inside those walls.  Not willing to adjust my schedule to make time for them.  They were not special enough. Not good enough.  I found myself so busy that there was not room for anyone else.  And I was so good with that.

But it started to get a smidge lonely.  Just a smidge.  I knew I was strong enough, independent enough, that I didn't NEED anyone else.  I have me covered.  There is no need that I can't fulfill myself.  But I found myself wishing there was someone on the couch with me.  Some warmth in the bed next to me.  The companionship of someone else in the apartment. And that was a need I couldn't fill by myself.

About that time someone came along that was worth shaking up my world.  The changes were worth it.  I wanted to make the time because he was that great. And things were so good.

Now I've realized my hasty attachment to this boy.  Too attached too quickly.  I mean, we barely know each other.  Right?  And now, after revealed personalities and differing perspectives, I've retreated to lick my wounds.  I've come face to face with my mistakes.  My hastiness.

After the lyrics have been on repeat in my brain for a week or so, I realize the problem with them.  In no way do I want to have to convince someone that I am the right one for them.  Seriously.  No begging.  No pleading.  I'll wait patiently, but there will be no groveling. 

Because while I may be ready to let down the wall and shake up my life for someone else, if that person isn't willing to do it for me, the effort isn't worth the pain.