Deep Water Summary by William Douglas

Douglas decided to learn swimming

The story “Deep Water” deals with two aspects of life the fear of water and to overcome that fear. It shows how the writer was scared of water since his childhood.

To overcome this fear he learned swimming with strong determination and courage. His very first experience was when he was three to four years old and went to California with his father and visited sea beach with his him suddenly a powerful wave swept over him.

Although the wave was harmless still it left him terrified. After this incident, another event increased his terror when to overcome his fear he made up his mind to learn swimming. He went to Y.M.C.A. pool which was two feet at the shallow and nine feet at the deep end.

Misadventure and his struggle to keep himself from drowning

One day a strong fat boy picked him up and threw him into the deeper part of the pool. The writer was terribly frightened. He sank to the bottom but he tried hard to jump and come up gradually to the surface of the pool.

His lungs were filled with air. As fear had gripped him all his efforts went useless. He was nearly drowned to end. He tried to breathe but swallowed water.

This time he had given up and gone to death slowly. He lay there in complete peace without fear of death. But someone saved him on the beach.

The fear of water made him handicapped

After this incident, his fear of water has increased to the next level. His daily life was handicapped and he was unable to enjoy water-related activities like boating, swimming and fishing. Whenever he came across water his fear strikes him again. He was so terrified that that on seeing water he got sick.

The decision of hiring a trainer for swimming

So in order to overcome his fear, Douglas found a swimming instructor who trained him as a swimmer bit by bit. He engaged in swimming activities and practices it forth and back with the help of a rope, pulley and overhead cable.

These aids were for his comfort in the pool. The trainer trained him all the techniques of swimming like putting his head in the water breathing in the water and movements of his hands and legs.

Soon he was able to overcome his fear completely. This experience of fear at first and then conquering it made his life worth living.

Testing his abilities

To check his abilities of swimming he had decided to test himself. For that, he went to a pool and tried swimming all alone and completed it successfully. Then he went to Lake Wentworth in Hampshire to dive. In the beginning, he was afraid of those waves that he fought them back. Finally, in the end, he conquered his fear of water and now he can enjoy all the activities of water.

The lesson of the story

A strong determination and courage can help one to overcome the fears of life. Same was done by the writer of this story to overcome his fear of water. He took the help of his trainer to become a good swimmer.

His desire does not end here but he has to do it all alone in the pool to check his ability of fearless activities in the water. Ultimately he was able to overcome his fear and achieved his aim. Writer’s experience confirmed the proverb,