One of my worst experiences occurred when I was just nine years old. My sister, my uncle, and I were on our way to the beach; I loved the beach. Liann and I were so excited to go surfing that day, but a little upset when we found out that our uncle had brought only one surfboard; that didn’t stop us. The second we got to the beach, Liann and I went straight into the water.
When we started to paddle out, we didn’t realize how far from shore we were. Liann didn’t really know how to surf so I had to let her sit on the surfboard while I paddled out. Suddenly, Liann began to cry. I didn’t know why until she said, “Erin, we are getting caught in a whirlpool!” I started to get scared myself when I realized I was getting sucked in. I didn’t know what to do except scream for help, but since we were so far away from shore, there was no point. As my sister kept crying, I tried to jog my memory. I remembered the surfing instructor saying something about whirlpools in the course. Then it hit me! I had to start paddling left so that I wouldn’t fight the whirlpool, but instead flow with the current; this would hopefully lead us to shore. After 10 minutes of paddling to the left, we could almost see shore, and Liann finally stopped crying. In my mind, I could almost feel the warm sand and hear the flocks of sea gulls. When we finally reached shore, Liann and I were so relieved we began to cry.
Knowing that I didn’t die, which could have easily happened since the lifeguard could not see us and my uncle had fallen asleep, I was reassured and a little bothered. During those thirty minutes, I was terrified and I can easily say that those were the worst thirty minutes of my life. Not only was I young, but I had to carry all the pressure on my back by taking care of my older sister. I realized that life can easily and quickly change and that it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
This experience affected me greatly, because I was not able to get on my surfboard again until I was 12. I loved surfing so much and every time I wanted to go surfing, I felt scared that something would go wrong once again. However, at the age of twelve, I suddenly understood that you only live life once, and you shouldn’t let one bad experience stop you from fully living it. I missed the warm comforting sand, the sound of the waves, and the ice cream venders at the beach.
I needed to let go of my fears and when I finally realized that this experience had stopped me from living my life, I grabbed my surfboard and headed straight for the beach with no fear. Ever since this experience, I’ve come to believe that life passes by quickly so don’t take it for granted.
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