The Impact of a Near-Death Experience

Blackness surrounds me, I am losing breathe… Fast-forward to the beginning of the day. I was only five-years-old but I was ambitious. My family and I were on vacation and our destination had been a waterpark. Before our trip, I learned how to swim at a Drury Inn hotel, so I was ready for anything. But during the family get-away at the waterpark, I had a life-changing experience.

Slides, pools, concessions, and lounges were all over the park. The anticipation was palpable. It felt as if I was ten and I found a million dollar check. El Lago was the biggest and terrifying slide. It was a sixty foot long plastic, blue slide surrounded by stones and it seemed to be the Appalachian Mountains to me. Like any other five-year-old, I was intimidated but determined to go down it.

I rode the majority of the puny slides with or without my parents. I had slid down El Largo with my parents help many times before. It was time for me to handle the slide on my own. It was high-noon and it was time to face my fears. Confidently, reminding my parents about the practice at the hotel, I was ready to slide down it without their aid.

“When you hit the bottom of the slide, get to the surface as fast as possible,” said my dad.

I stepped up to the mouth of the slide. It swallowed me. I felt free sliding by myself like when the first time I learned how to walk. But when I careened into the water with more force than anticipated, I was overwhelmed and left fighting for my life. My parents had been sliding down El Largo at that time. The lifeguard happened was not there. Blackness surrounded me, I was losing breathe… next thing I know a hand yanked on mine and pulled me out of the nightmare. My brother saved me. Thankfully, he noticed me struggling to swim. That day I learned to never make decisions based on ambitious impulses. Now I always think situations through.

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