Every Introvert’s Dream, Swimming Alone?

One of the most traumatizing movie scenes I saw as a child was the opening scene in Jaws. Where the woman takes a morning (or evening?!) dip in the ocean and the great white shark gets her and there is blood everywhere and she dies. That scene goes with the other infamous childhood scenes that made me have insomniac nights, such as: Jurassic Park, where the guy on the porta potty gets eaten by the T-rex. Or the scene in Chucky… really any scene in Chucky for me. But I digress, that scene in Jaws was one of the reasons I stopped swimming by myself in our backyard pool. And for good reason, here is why.

Even accomplished swimmers who have been swimming since birth are wary when swimming alone, that is because they know the risks that can happen to anyone. According to the Florida Department of Health, the last decade alone has seen a total 1,054 deaths from preventable drownings. And that is just in the state of Florida. Here are some of the risks, besides the obvious shark.

Very common one are cramps, of any kind. And I know what you are thinking, this only happens to the elderly. But it happened to me, when I was twenty-five. Luckily, I made it out of the ocean - I was at the beach - and just layed on the sand, paralyzed. I was so severely dehydrated and did not realize it until the last minute. Another blessing was that there were people nearby in case it got too serious. If I had stayed in the water though, that risk would have been greater. Which really just leads to any medical condition that arises when swimming.

Seizures, heart attacks, or even blunt force trauma that are unpreventable can happen when you are swimming. And when it does, you might as well be attacked by a shark - yes, I am overusing shark metaphors. We all think that it won’t happen to us, until it does.

So I realize that the last paragraph shows a better reason why you should not swim alone other than the “cramp” example, but that is only because the cramp one did happen to me and it was scary! This was just a tangent. I will move on.

Needless to say, I think you get the point, do not swim alone. You have heard a million times, and you are going to hear it at least a million and one times from me, do not swim alone. Every drowning is preventable and getting a swimming pal, swimming in a public place, or having a lifeguard nearby will reduce that risk. Happy swimming, and don’t get chomped.

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