Is this a mistake? The fear is real, it’s been so long. Maybe I’ve forgotten how?
Do I bolt, send an excuse? Oh hell, too late, they’ll already have left, I’d say most are probably nearly here.
They arrive, we exchange greetings, cross the tracks, smelling the fresh earth scent that only early morning can give, down the steps, to the water’s edge.
There is only the ladder left to go, it’s at the end of the pier. Why does the pier feel shorter than ever before? My head is screaming, ‘I’m not ready!’. My comments are excuses saying, ‘I don’t know, I’m not sure!’. My swim buddy is saying: ‘It’s okay. Whatever happens is okay’.
That initial sting of cold that hits and drives up through your body as you enter the water. My breath is caught, I need to breath. Wait, it’s done I’m in, the water is washing over me.
My mind smiles, my body relaxes. It’s okay, I’m back and it feels good, I haven’t forgotten.
My movements more haphazard than defined, but I can swim, I do remember and…. I’m back with my swimfam.
The water is what binds us and makes our group.
Author Pearse Reynolds is a Me and the Water member, who sent us this story to enter our August 2021 members competition. If you would like the chance to have a swim story featured on meandthewater.ie, please email email@example.com.