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  • I grew up in Crete so the sea has always been a part of me. Even when I lived in central France, I used to imagine I could see it beyond the mountains. I had to in order not to feel clostrophobia.
    As a child my mum enrolled me at the local swimming club to learn how to swim. The swimming teacher taught us the basic: kicking and how to put our heads in the water. I didn't want to put my head in. When the water reached my nose I immediately emerged. The teacher didn't like that. She decided to use an exceptionally innovative, educational and effective teaching technique to help me: she took a swim kick board and started banging it on my head every time I emerged so that I would decide it's best for me to keep my head in the water instead. I felt embarrassed, I wanted to cry, and needless to say, I didn't want to go back to the swimming pool the next day.
    I did, however, learn to swim at some point.

    Then one summer when I was 13 years old I was playing with the waves with my sister and we didn't realise how far in we had gone before it was too late. The current was too strong and we couldn't go back to the shore. We struggled, we swam as fast as we could and finally we started crying for help. My mum was on the beach and she called for help. It took several men a long time to get to us because of that current. My sister said we should stay close to each other. I don't know whether we thought we might drown if we didn't get out soon. But after struggling for I don't know how long I was exchausted and gave up. I just lay on my back, let the waves carry me and didn't care what would happen. I heard my mum screaming "what are you doing? Swim!! Now!!!" and then a hand grabbed me and started pulling me to the shore. I never went back to that beach.

    There were a lot of times in my life when I felt as if someone was hitting me on the head with a kickboard, as if I had to fight against a really strong current and I desperately wanted to give up or needed someone to grab my hand. I guess learning to swim is a long process. It never really ends. Cause there's a lot of sea out there. And there's also a lot of water in me too.
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