DIAL UP
Allex Michael, a young attractive blonde woman with long hair Gold text reads Allex Michael

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Ongoing Monologue:
Overcoming Failure and my Fear of Water

Allex Michael: "Some people have it easy. They're born attractive, rich and life is sweet. For the rest of us, life is good after some struggles. For a few of us, everything comes later than planned and mostly after a lot of hard work. Despite considering myself a very lucky person, I still fall into that third category.

A great example is me and water. Even at the age of ten, I still couldn't swim. All the other kids at school knew how to swim. They had been introduced early and had taken years of lessons which we couldn't afford.

Every few years, my mother saved up bus fare so that she and I could visit my Grandparents on the coast. They were poor also, but splurged and we all drove to a lake one day. I saw the other kids running and diving into the water and decided I would learn how to swim or die. After about twenty minutes of visualization, I ran into the water and then dove under. Then of course I nearly drowned.

Luckily public schools started enforcing physical education again and swimming lessons became mandatory.

I was chubby as a kid and devastated to be forced into swimming lessons. We couldn't afford to buy a Speedo bathing suit, like the other kids, not that it would have looked good on me any ways. We actually couldn't afford to buy any new bathing suit, so my mother made me a rather stylish bikini from some striped material she had been given. Blue, red and white stripes, just like the American flag. It was actually flattering, given the model she had to work with. There was only one problem. The homemade suit was made of terry cloth, (like a stretchy towel) which doubled it's size when wet. So not only was there my fear of water, but I now had to hold on my bathing suit while trying to learn to swim. Even tightening the elastic waist didn't work, as terry cloth becomes so incredibly heavy underwater. Safety pins were also no match for the waterlogged terry. My technique evolved into kicking and diving with my thighs splay locked around a gathered clump of cloth to prevent the bikini bottoms from ending up around my ankles. I still can't figure out why the swim instructor kept asking if I needed to use the washroom.

It was also humiliating to be in pre-beginner swim lessons at the age of ten and even worse to fail it three times. The whole drowning incident was holding me back, plus holding up my bikini bottom was a bit of a handicap.

After moving past the pre-beginner class, I then had to overcome my terry cloth bikini top coming up when jumping into the water. Finally an explanation for my fearful refusals to jump from the low diving board. It took another class or two to master that. Gold text reads Alle

Yet once I got the hang of swimming, and mom sewed me a new bathing suit, I excelled rapidly. Within a few years I became a life guard. I now love the water and am a moderately experienced scuba diver.

As I said, everything comes later for me and mostly after a lot of hard work. Whether it's learning how to swim, becoming a writer or making a film, I initially find myself drowning in a waterlogged terry cloth bikini. However once I get the hang of something, nothing can hold me back."


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