Which is mine?

North Vancouver, 2019

North Vancouver, 2019



The swimming pool. That smell that’s so hard to describe but hangs in the air letting you know a pool is nearby. The chemical smell when I was young was strong possibly stronger than it is today. My heart would shimmer in my chest. Butterflies would flutter in my stomach. I would need the loo the moment I entered the changing rooms. The water in the pool was often cold. Cold and bright blue. The water would lap, lap, lap against the side walls just below our feet. That lingering smell of chemical would settle in my nostrils. Like most of the girls I would shiver, holding my shoulders high, folding my arms around my waist.

I was, am, myopic. A blurred fuzz of shapes, colours and tones stretched out in front of me. I would lean my head forward as the teacher spoke. The boys would push and shove around me and I would lose track for a second and miss what I was supposed to be doing.

The water filled my ears and muffled the sound that echoed out in the space above me. My heartbeat would slow until I had to tread water. The teacher would demonstrate technique high above us, warm and dry in their clothes. We would paddle hard using our arms and legs, pushing and pulling at the water to keep our heads above the surface.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.