The day i defeated my nemesis and rose above my fear


I was 10 years old when I was first introduced to my nemesis. My dad had claimed victory over him a long time ago and he wanted me to do the same. When I first met him, I felt cold. There were several thoughts clouding my mind, but one stood prominent. I won’t be able to defeat him. That one thought paralyzed me; made me shake to the bone, rendering me motionless. Every time I thought I would defeat him, I would learn a new way to lose. My dad who always hoped for victory would then come to my help and rescue me like a knight in shining armor. I hated my nemesis. I hated how he made me feel. I hated how he had this power over me that would make me go numb. I hated the fear he created in my heart. My nemesis was water and I was scared every time I stepped into it as I thought it would swallow me whole and never let me go.  

It was a different story altogether with my sister. She was a champion swimmer just like my dad. Every time dad took us to the swimming pool in our apartment complex, she swam like she belonged there; like it was her home. She would tease me whenever I sat near the water not wanting to get inside. The fear kept on growing everyday and I never quite learned how to master it.

That all changed on April 16th.

It was my birthday and I was alone at the swimming pool playing with my nemesis. The water seemed like an eager dog licking my feet, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. But I knew his intenstions. I knew his plan. He just wanted me lose focus for a second and then he would claim me as his own and show the viciousness for which I feared him.

I was still playing with him when I felt a hard push and then all of a sudden I was inside him. I panicked. I drank him in and that only made him stronger. No matter how much I hit him with my small little hands, it didn’t stop him. I was in his clutches now. He held me tight and pulled me down deeper and deeper. I felt all of my strength draining out of my eyes and the water eagerly lapped it up like a bee drinking nectar from the morning flower.

I was slipping out of consciousness with the poison of fear growing strong in my heart. And then I don’t know where it came from, but it did. Maybe it was the feeling that I had accepted defeat. Maybe I knew I had nothing to lose now. I raised my hand and then I did it again with another. I then started kicking my feet, one after another. I had a vision of my dad urging me to push hard, kick faster and as I did what he told, I swam up. My nemesis was in shambles as he lost his hold over me. 

He finally gave up after a long struggle and I exploded out of the water, screaming high and loud. My dad who was sleeping in his lounge chair woke up to the sound of my cries. Without stopping to think, he ran up to me and jumped inside the swimming pool. He swam towards me and said ‘I’ve got you.’

I tapped him on the shoulder and said ‘No dad. I've got this.’ He looked at me in surprise and then let me go. I swam across the swimming pool and then around my dad and then got out of the water.

My dad stood beside me with a big smile on his face and hugged me. I turned my face to see my nemesis in chaos, bobbing wildly like he was furious, angry and frustrated with himself. I looked at him and said ‘I defeated you. You don't have any power over me. You never will.’ And I felt the fear seep out of my heart forever, finally marking my win over my nemesis.

This post has been written for the ‘Rise above Fear’ campaign from Mountain Dew hosted at

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