The thing is, I've told this story hundreds of times, and that might be why I don't really remember it well. I'll say "I had a near-death experience" and then launch myself into the whole tale, but I won't emphasize that, truth to be told, I didn't feel like I was dying. Stranded in the middle of the pool with a stretch cord around my neck and my hand keeping the cord from strangling me to death, I was very relaxed, because I knew that my hands were strong and I would not be strangled.
But of course, that doesn't make for a very thrilling story.
Now my near-death experience story goes like this: I was at swim practice, and one of my friends was sharing a lane with me. He was pretty strong, this friend of mine. We were using cords in the water, tied to something outside the pool, for resistance training. For some reason, I went underwater, to fix my suit I suppose, and when I came up, I didn't realize that my friend's cord was wrapped around my neck until it closed around me, fast. I had paddles on my hand for training, so I quickly used my hand to keep the cord from my neck. So I was in no danger, and I knew it. The near-death part, of course, is that if my hand hadn't been close to my face, I most likely would have been dead, seeing as my friend kept swimming for a while, unaware that I was stuck on his cord. I've always had fun telling this story, but lately I've realized that I can't really emotionally remember it.
I don't remember what I was thinking as I got swept to the middle of the pool and honestly, I don't even remember being swept out to the middle of the pool. I remember being there though, and that other swimmers stopped and saw me there, stranded. I remember my coach screamed, but I don't remember what I thought. I know that my friend eventually stopped and realized I was tangled in his cord, but I remember getting back to the wall. I do vividly recall my coach asking me, "Are you OK?" I nodded. I hadn't been hurt at all. I remember feeling kind of shaky from the leftover adrenaline, and telling another teammate about it as I gave him a ride home. I can still hear my friend apologizing, and me saying of course it wasn't his fault. And that's it.
I thought if I ever came so close to death, and escaped, that I'd remember every second like it was yesterday, but the memory of my near-death experience seems farther and farther every time I tell the story again.