Think As You Read
Question 1: What is the ‘misadventure’ that William Douglas speaks about?
Answer: The misadventure was the incident when Douglas almost drowned and died in the swimming pool.
Question 2: What were the series of emotions and fears that Douglas experienced when he was thrown into the pool? What plans did he make to come to the surface?
Answer: When Douglas was thrown into the pool, he frightened but was not out of his wit. While going down he planned to hit the bottom with his legs, to come up to the surface with the rebound force, to lie flat on the surface and to paddle to the edge of the pool.
Question 3: How did this experience affected him?
Answer: This experience jolted Douglas from deep inside. He lay in bed and cried. He was unable to eat. Slightest exertion made him weak at knees. He felt sick in stomach. He never went back to the pool. He feared water and tried to keep as far from it as possible.
Question 4: Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?
Answer: Douglas was so frightened of water that it robbed him of various opportunities to enjoy adventure with water. He was unable to enjoy fishing, canoeing, and other water sports. He had a deep desire to enjoy such activities. So, he was determined to get over his fear of water.
Question 5: How did the instructor ‘build a swimmer’ out of Douglas?
Answer: The instructor built a swimmer out of Douglas piece by piece. He began with tying Douglas with a rope while he swam across the pool. He relaxed his hold on the rope intermittently to develop confidence in Douglas. After that he asked Douglas to do leg exercises while holding the edge of the pool. Finally, when Douglas was able to develop full command over his legs, the instructor was sure that Douglas became a trained swimmer.
Question 6: How did Douglas make sure that he conquered the old terror?
Answer: After the swimming lessons were over, Douglas still had some fear left in him. So, he decided to take the cudgels to defeat the terror. He started practicing in different rivers and pools. He even practiced jumping from a cliff. It was through continuous practice that Douglas was able to conquer the old terror.