Are you sure?
This bookmark will be removed from all folders and any saved notes will be permanently removed.
When my own strength wasn’t enough
“Try it again,” my water safety instructor shouted from the side of the pool, trying to sound encouraging.
It was the last day of my freshman year of college. I was treading water in the diving well of the campus pool before yet another attempt to retrieve two heavy bricks—sitting like lumps of lead 12 feet below on the floor of the pool—and then swim them to the surface with enough energy left to yell, “I have two bricks!” To add an extra element of difficulty, our professor told us that we couldn’t dive from the side of the pool; we had to begin our dive from the water’s surface. This test was one of a long list of requirements that we had to fulfill in order to pass the class.
I had tried to power through and retrieve the bricks weeks earlier. Each time, I’d gotten close but had to drop the bricks just before reaching the surface. This was my last chance.
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.