We almost drowned yesterday.
Every summer there is a pontoon in the beach below our house. It’s a floating trampoline anchored to the bottom and you can swim out to it and clamber aboard.
My son has decided this is the year he wants to go to the pontoon.
He’s been taking swimming lessons and can tread water but he’s no Michael Phelps.
In the past week we’ve been out a couple of times at low tide. I could wade halfway and then swim the rest which is basically a almost 6 year old on my back while I’m doing awkward breast stroke. He has a habit of pushing my legs down so we both lose buoyancy.
Yesterday we wen’t down for an afternoon swim and he wanted to go out.
It was high tide so I was more reluctant but it didn’t look that much further.
So we set off. After a few meters it was too deep to walk so we started swimming. He was an absolute dead weight. Arms around my neck. Legs flailing.
I felt like I was treading water while being attacked by an animal.
Half way there I realised I had bitten off more than I could chew.
I thought about turning back.
But I kept going.
When we got there I was knackered. Breathing like I had sprinted 2k’s and eyes stinging.
and the pontoon had been flipped. No ladder. Nothing to hold onto.
We grabbed the anchor cable and floated while I contemplated my stupidity of taking my 5 year old son who can barely swim into deep water 150 metres from a beach.
Then a guy appeared.
One of those solver foxes who just casually swims the 11km from Auckland while listening to Beethoven (that may not be true)
He looked at me.
and I said ‘we may need some help getting back’
So we took turns paddling with my son back into the shore in the slowest swim I’ve ever been on.
But we made it. No one died, I learned a very valuable lesson about my capabilities,
and I asked for help.
You often set off on a journey thinking it will be just like one you’ve made before.
Full of optimism.
Half way there you realise you have bitten off more than you can handle on your own.
Do I turn back or keep going?
You keep going then realise if you turn back you are more likely to drown.
Sometimes you find a pontoon to grab onto to take a breather.
You might get lucky and help swims by.
and then you have a decision.
Continue the journey on my own and risk drowning or ask for help.
In past years ego was the thing that stopped me from asking for help. Our ego would rather drown than risk being seen as weak.
But you aren’t your ego. You’re smart and you want you (and our family) to live to swim again tomorrow.
Don’t drown. Ask for help.