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Stories: "Are You Scared?"

November 12th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

About three years ago, I was in a relationship with a girl who was ultra-competitive. She wasn’t a jock, but she played a couple of sports in high school and remained active in her years after playing organized sports. She went to the gym every morning and when she couldn’t go to the gym, she often went running instead.

At the time, I was doing something I call a prison work out, which involved no weights and just basic push-ups, crunches and tricep presses off the furniture. I learned it from my late uncle, who taught it to me after he served time in prison.

To my girlfriend at the time, my efforts were cute, but after a while she wanted me to go running with her, insisting I couldn’t only do 200 push-ups and 200 sit-ups a day, I had to involve some cardio as well. But I wasn’t into running, and the one time she actually did get me to run, I was so exhausted, I almost broke up with her.

From that point point forward, we stuck to our respective routines, but a couple months after that first and only run with her, her suggestion and my refusal to cooperate with it, would come back to haunt me.

Memorial Day weekend, the two of us decided to go on vacation together and jetted off to one of those sunny resorts where the hotel is right on the beach. I didn’t want to do anything more than lay out, drink, and eat up all the resort’s food, but the resort had all these activities my girlfriend at the time wanted to wanted to do like parasailing and jet-skiing. Unfortunately for her, the guy she went on vacation with had a fear of heights and the ocean, especially the ocean.

It cannot be said enough how much I hate those vasts spaces of water and salt. Seaside, where I’m from, sits right on the Pacific, so there were a lot of beaches, but the climate isn’t beach-friendly; most days it’s around 60 degrees and if we get up in the 70s, we’re experiencing a heat wave. Where I come from, tourists have died from getting caught up in the undertow, thinking it’s all good to just be climbing on rocks. Where I come from, the Pacific Ocean is thugged out and has killed people.

So when my girlfriend at the time suggested we swim way out to a line of floating buoys, which were clearly marked for swimmers to not pass, I was more than hesistant.

“Ummm, we don’t need to go that far,” I said, as we were standing at the lip of the shore.

“Oh come on, it’s not that far,” she said.

Let me try to describe how far the point she wanted to swim to was. I have 20/20 vision, and I had to squint to see it.

“Are you trying to race,” I asked. “Is that what you’re trying to do?”

“Boy please, I’ll beat you,” she said without even looking at me, which was so disrespectful. “Come on, are you scared? You can’t swim?”

“I can swim,” I protested. It was true, I knew how to swim, I just didn’t know if I could swim that far.

“Then what’s the problem,” she asked. And with that she dove right into the water and started to swim out.

I didn’t have time to think, because I knew the minute I gave it a second thought, I’d turn right back around and sit on my beach chair. But my girlfriend at the time had been so patient with me up until this point, I thought, Why not? The least I could do for her was swim, especially if I expected to get any when we got back to the hotel room. So I dove in, as my girlfriend at the time was a good ten feet ahead of me.

With my legs kicking and my arms stroking, I eventually caught up to her and made it to our destination, but by this time, I felt the tide turning, and I don’t mean the one in the ocean, I mean the one in my chest.

I was worn out, meanwhile my girlfriend at the time looked like she swam all of one lap in a  kiddie pool. As I attempted to catch my breath by hanging on to the the string of anchored buoys, she looked at me and said, “You tired?”

I just looked back at her with my chest heaving, not saying a word. She knew the answer.

Before I began to swim back to shore, I paused and gasped by what was in front of me. The shore was far, much farther than the point where I was at now seemed to be when I was standing back there. I didn’t know how I was going to make it back. Well, actually, I knew how, I just did not know if I would make it back.

Just like we began, my girlfriend at the time swam off to head back to shore, and without letting myself catch my breath entirely, I started to swim back right behind her. I don’t know how far I had gotten before my whole body just began to give out. I remember specifically thinking I was at a point where I could start touching the bottom, but when I stopped kicking my feet to feel out the ocean floor and felt nothing instead, I began to do what nobody should do in the middle of the ocean: Panic.

Now the shore seemed even further and I was not only out of breath, but I was losing my mind. Everything became blurry, but I was still trying to muster up the strength to paddle and at least scream for help, even though my mouth was swallowing what felt like gallons of water. Girlfriend at the time, who wasn’t too far ahead of me looked back and saw I was having trouble, but I could tell she was exhausted too. Still, she turned around and attempted to help. We weren’t saying anything to each other by this point, not because we didn’t want to, but because we had to conserve whatever energy and breath we had to make it to the shore. As she tried to pull me up, I could tell she wasn’t going to have enough strength to make any difference, so I kind of pushed her away, indicating to her to just keep swimming back to shore.

She did.

Out the corner of my eye, I saw one of the resort’s lifeguard’s swimming out to save me, and when he got far enough, he threw me a flotation device. I grabbed onto it, as the lifeguard pulled me back to shore safely. No mouth to mouth was necessary, all I needed to do was put my hands on my knees and take a few minutes to catch my breath. Girlfriend at the time rubbed my back thanked the lifeguard, then turned to me and asked if I was okay.I just waved my hand up to indicate I would be fine. I was so exhausted, I almost broke up with her, but seeing as she was dating a guy who clearly couldn’t swim to save his life, I was surprised she didn’t break up with me.

Once I caught my breath, I shrugged everything off, even though she remained apologetic in the immediate aftermath. We went back to our room to change for dinner and by the time our meals came to our table the two of us were laughing over what happened. As a matter of fact, two days later at breakfast, we saw the lifeguard who saved me and I insisted we take a picture, which I think she still has.

Although we would break up months later for entirely different reasons, to this day we remain friends. But workout buddies we’ll never be.

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  • Belle

    i don’t like this ex.

    very vivid and visual story. well-written.

  • daviska

    wow. this was hilarious. i am reading this at work and had to shut my office door because i was laughing soo loud!!!

  • Something Like Beautiful

    Later for that heffa.

  • HUmochamonalisa

    What a way to wreck a vacay…

  • Ashley

    This was pretty sad Jozen. She damn near killed you and herself in the process. Good thing this is an ex.

  • Aisha

    Oh wow this story is hilarious, that girl tried to kill you. I thought I was the only one who was scared of vast bodies of water.

  • Dililah

    I wonder how long you guys lasted after that?

  • BabyImAStar

    Ego Vs. Common Sense..

    This right here was hiliarious. As an adult I have learned not to get caught up in doing some peer pressure type sh!t that I know is a fail all the way around.

    Good Post..You were starting to be on my “I quit you” list.

  • Cicely

    This was so not the girl’s fault. I’ve got to agree with “Baby”…this was a case of Ego winning out over Common Sense.

    Great story…I laughed out loud while reading this one!


  • Reecie

    Good read. I didn’t find the story funny at all. Maybe because I can’t swim, but things like that terrify me. Even if I could swim if you weren’t feeling confident about it, you shouldn’t have gone out there. I also don’t like the way she was talking to you either.

  • iloveketa

    Ima be real.We prolly wouldn’t have broke up (right then and there)but I would have felt some type of way about you afterwards. Its kinda like watching yo man get his ass beat. You can never truly respect him the same because a portion of his manhood got compromised, and all future bravado from that point on will be deemed fruitless -cause you remember what he did last summer…

    I wanna know what made you break up after the fact

  • BoomShots

    I had a similiar type experience on a trip to Brazil with a group of people a few years ago. I was looking to impress one of the young ladies in the group, she was the sporty type and we were on a boat trip that anchored off a small island. She elected to not take the dinghy and swim to sure and I elected to go with her. Now I considered myself in pretty good shape and I am a former high school swimmer but its been more years since high school than my age in high school.

    Dawg!! it was all great when I dived over the side as i estimated it no more than 200 to 300 yards, I told myself I can make that easy. Afterall up to 10 years ago I was doing 1000 meters workouts. Your mind too often write checks your ass can’t cash because half way to shore my tank was close to being empty. But I did make it, while my life flashed before my eyes and I made it because she made it. I was not going to lose to a girl who was probably 8 years younger and i wanted to impress.

    While i was really winded I was able to play it off and I knew she was also winded because when I inquired if we would swim back she declined. So I saved some face, never did impress her enough to come back to the room though.

  • oc

    Damn thats cold. Real, but cold. When women say stuff like this, it makes men think that we only want thugs and ish. when really we just want men to be men, a little super human, but men nonetheless.

  • yana-girl

    At least you didn’t cry. I had almost the same experience but when we got back to the room, ex-boyfriend made a few comments while he was changing about having been emasculated. When I commented that it was “not my fault”, he started crying. Big naked dude crying in the hotel room in Cancun. Needless to say, we broke up before leaving that beach.

  • B_EbonyinLDN

    LOL….I love it “I was so exhausted, I almost broke up with her.”

  • Bianka

    As I was reading your blog I couldn’t help but sympathize seeing how I’ve been in similar situations with a guy that I’m talking to. He wasn’t as competitive as your ex but he worked out everyday where I barely ever workout. We went to VA Beach and I decided it would be cool to run on the beach with him, well not even halfway in I was tired and walking while he kept running lol. Recently we went to the Dominican Republic and went snorkeling even though I can’t swim (my reasoning was that the life vest would keep me afloat) well when I jumped into the water I didn’t expect to sink first and float later and of course I panicked. lol. It was embarrassing to be the only one out in the ocean holding onto a life saver especially when there was a little 10 year old swimming without one and to add insult to injury everyone started swimming without their vests but me. He was a good sport about it though, he was just happy I didn’t die and impressed at how brave I was for even doing it in the first place.

  • Kate

    That girl was crazy. Good thing you two broke up.

  • amberli

    That was ridiculously funny. I also had to stifle my laughter while at work. I found myself in a similar situation. My BF was in the navy and I was visiting him in Menomenee, WI. So no oceans in this story but the Great Lakes are comparable. So the scenario, several children are jumping off the end of a pier and swimming. I dared my BF. He declined. I decided to go for it. Big mistake. Who knew lakes had currents? Certainly, not me. When I made it to one of the ladders on the side of the pier, I knew that my ego had clearly written a check my a$$ could not cash. After that I swore I would take some swim lessons. That was over a year ago.

  • Babs

    I didn’t think this story was that funny. Why was she challenging your manhood? Why did she need to be so competitive with you? And you almost died- she would have felt really stupid then.

    I would have broken up with her as soon as we returned from the trip.

  • Soula Powa

    Jozen, where I come from, you break up with chicks that try to kill you immediately.

    Whether it is by poison, a big @$$ knife, a little “white” lie, or strategically placed peer pressure, if your life is in the balance, she gets a pink slip.

    Glad you are not with her though.

  • Lilie

    Hahahahahahaha. That’s hysterical! Reading this has also made me see you in a vulnerable light.. That’s a good thing, though. When I see you usually, you seem like this unstoppable force put on Earth to lure women. As if “MAN” was stamped across your forehead, you won’t let us forget it. sometimes i get shy cause i dont know what to make of it. you can be more intimidating than my father, Jozen! great story here, i laughed my ass off 😉

  • Lilie

    so you wanted to impress her only to have sex with her.. wow, dudes go to great lengths to get laid… that’s ridiculous. you really had to have your life flash before your eyes to have a chance at that… hahahaha

  • marriedbutsingle

    I feel that when a person has a pretty good idea that he or she may have a problem handling something in any situation, it is better safe than sorry. The best thing to do is always be the bigger person and do what you feel is best for you and your safety.

  • H

    LOL! I’d like to hear her tell the story. This sht is hilarious. I would have broken down with her the minute I started drowning, just so as to have something else to talk about when its all over. I am not going down like that. I gotta run sht life or death.

  • H

    “broken up” I mean

  • Mimi

    The Pacific Ocean is thugged out! Very vivid image comes to mind.
    Fantastic writing!