Monday, June 23, 2008

My near drowning - recalled as a warning ( circa 1982)

I lay on a beach towel, near a little bridge by Lake Nakomis. It was very warm and sunny, the sun glittered off the water's surface and the cool, grassy sunning area was lightly lined with sunbathers. It was more solitary "singles beach".
I had just run once around the lake, and was a self-ordained triathelete, running 5 miles 3-4 times a week, and swimming solid workouts 3 times a week. Biking was a given. My point is: I was in very good shape...26 years ago.
After lounging briefly on my towel, I decided it would be fun to swim to the middle of the lake and then back in. I was alone.
I dove into the cool water and easily "crawled" to the middle of the lake where I stopped to ponder my postion. Sunny. I could see my starting point about 200-250 yards away. A few distant wind surfers were visible.
I relaxed.... then: Ouch! A sharp pain on my calf set me into a mild panic... I was bit by a fish! Another probing poke from the fish (or turtle) sent me kicking to scare it away.
It was at this point the very worst thing happened. In an ill-timed effort to catch my rapid breath I instead drew a deep breath of water into my lungs. Now I could not breath at all. I panicked and began to cough, choke, and sink below the surface as I struggled to catch my breath.
Then it hit me, "You are going to drown unless you start using your head!"
I rolled onto my back coughing and gasping into the air trying to relax and regain composure. I looked up at the sun. After a minute, I could breath....unevenly.
I never relaxed, but switchd to the breast stroke and pushed my way into shore. I came out of the water exhausted and embarrased. Of all things, my appearance this on my mind.
No one had even noticed.
I examined my leg and I noticed a distinct set of teeth marks in my calf.


Blogger Just Roaming The Cities said...

Glad you are still alive! Great story.

7:29 AM  

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