A Huge Turn in My Life
This is a huge story of my life on how I managed to quit parting and turn into a professional swimming champion. During my high school days, my father used to work as an accountant in a leading audit firm in Las Vegas. My mother being a staunch Christian, we never missed to go to church every Sunday. There was no compromise about that. This helped in building my life as far as spiritual life is concerned.
I participated in church-related activities and as years went by, I grew into the role model of other parents. “Can’t you be like Jade?” a common rhetorical question used by parents when addressing their respective children. My mother was proud of me, my dad always tagged me along when on an out with his friends to boast of how son was on the “right track”.
In May, 2002, I was enrolled in a Las Vegas High School. Young and primitive boy, I found high school life quite difficult. At some point I was thinking about quitting high school. I happened to build a good rapport with Kelvin, a cheeky but kind boy from New York. He introduced me to high school life and how things need to be done.
Choose your friends wisely
After a year, I had fully incorporated into the life though the Christian values still guided me. Although Kelvin was a good friend, my life and his were completely different. He was a party animal, as they are commonly referred to. Contrary to weekends, Monday to Friday were party days to him. He always persuaded me to come along, which I never took in.
My school mates viewed me as weird, no one but Kelvin hanged out with me. Common to high school students, having a girlfriend was a cool thing but poor me, no girl wanted to be associated with me since I was so “primitive”. Within time, my self-esteem had seriously been affected. This was replicated in my grades. Kelvin as my only friend offered to help. I remember one evening seated under a tree thinking about my life, kelvin popped up. “Hey Bro”, in a rather jovial tone, he started a conversation.
He told me that there was this huge party that was bound to happen the following weekend at a friend’s home. As usual, I declined but after an hour trying to convince me suggesting how my problems could vanish just by attending a mere party, I gave in, not knowing this was going to mark the huge turn of my life. From a conservative teenager to a party maniac.
On a chilly Saturday, me and Kelvin hitting the road ready for the party. Obviously am a bit nervous since I had never been on a party before though I always heard what transpired during such parties. I had to confirm with Kelvin if it was indeed safe and he nodded positively. After a 30-minute drive, we arrived at the event. Loud music, skimpily dressed girls and alcohol were enough to explain the party.
After some few introductions and taken through norms of a party, we are ushered on a couch adjacent to the swimming pool. Drinks begin to flow in. Am reluctant to have a taste, but after being persuaded, I decided to try it out. At first it tasted weird but after few more sips, I had mastered the art.
Time to make changes
After days, weeks and months of partying, alcohol shifted from being my favorite drink to my weakness. I realized that my life was depending on alcohol and other drugs. My school grades seems to be declining with each test I did. I knew that life had nothing to offer for a failure like me. This made me drop out of school. No friend, not even Kelvin was there to help me. My only friend was an isolated pool, yes an isolated pool next to Las Vegas High School manned by an old granny. I used to visit the pool every evening. I wanted to be alone in a cool environment just to think about life.
One day the old granny approached me and asked me what my problem was. Having nothing to lose, I explained to him how my life had changed thanks to alcoholism. “Don’t worry son, it’s not the end of life, do you have an interest in swimming? I can guide you on how to swim”. Good memories flashed through my mind. The old days which I would participate in swimming competitions way back in church. After negotiating for some time, a deal was struck. I was to come for training thrice a week.
At first it proved to be difficult but knowing what I wanted to achieve, I hanged on. After months of practice, I started to participate in various competitions but as expected, luck was still not on my side. I did not lose hope and my hard work at last paid when I won the Las Vegas swimming pool competition held in 2008. Thanks to the old granny, I managed to pick up my broken glasses and start over. I visit various high schools advocating that there is still life after drug addiction.