Christina Ruotolo

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Diving In

My boyfriend came home today from a two day trip to see his family. He visited a water park yesterday and had a blast. I am sure he rode everything and slid down every slide. He isn't scared of anything. I can see him on a 50 foot diving board. He wouldn't think twice and would jump with abandonment with a smile on his face.

I was stuck here working while he was out in the sun and in the water, two places that I wanted to be. I was getting ready to put his clothes in the wash. I pulled out his swim trunks from the laundry basket and I could smell the chlorine.

I picked up the swimming trunks, pulled them up to my nose. I closed my eyes and inhaled them for at least a minute. I was eleven again on the swim team, with my professional bathing suit, goggles tight and my family watching. I was about to race through the crystal pool ripples like a dolphin. I was stretching on the edge of the pool on that little mount, ready to hear the buzzer, fling like a bird and fly into the water, flex my legs, stretch my arms and swim.

I smelled his swim trunks just like a mother pulling out her box in the attic of baby clothes. She would hold them to her nose, close her eyes and remember a time that seems so long ago, but at the same time, it seems like just yesterday.

I was young again. I was free, flying in the waves and didn't have any worries. I only cared about the way I felt rushing through the water. My heart was beating fast, and adrenaline knew my name by heart. I was streaming ahead, legs graceful as I did the breast stroke. My hands went to the sides, pushing the water away, pulling down below and them coming back up, taking a breath and dancing in the water.

When I opened my eyes, with his swim trunks in my hands I realized that I was 32 in grey jogging pants and one of my boyfriends old t-shirts. I started to cry. I wanted to be that kid again, laughing with no health problems. I was never tired and loved it. I wanted that rush you got when the swim meet was over and I was so proud holding that ribbon for winning. It didn't even matter if I won, because I just got to swim and that was all that really mattered then.

What matters now is that I have to stand up, put on my bathing suit and walk to the diving board again. I will not be scared of the high dive and I will take the plunge. I will forget about illness and be free again.

We need to walk to end of the board and not look back, but run like an eleven year old would, jump and cannonball.