Print Story How to drown yourself in a hotel pool.
By Gully Foyle (Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 01:25:56 PM EST) apnea, blackout, freediving cowwqas (all tags)
I'm having my shoulders massaged by a beautiful woman. An amalgam of every girl I ever fancied is working the knots out of my back and shoulders, and I'm not enjoying it. I'm not enjoying it, and I can't work out why. There's something vaguely annoying, nagging at the corners of my mind. Suddenly it dawns on me "Holy shit! I'm breathing water!". I stand up and haul my head out of the water, taking one long painful breath. Acting of its own accord, my body hauls itself out of the pool as I get my bearings, and try to work out what's going on. "Was I asleep? Was I dreaming that woman?" It's not until I've been in the changing room getting my head together for 5 minutes that I remember anything clearly, and realise the utter stupidity of what I just did.

(Cross posted from with some edits. They're the freediving forum, but I think the story works here too).

So, we arrived at the trade fair on a Friday night. Pretty ordinary conference hotel, bland restaurants, small gym, bar, 18m outdoor pool. Spent the first two days working long hours getting set up for the exhibition on Monday. Sunday night, I was up until 4:30am getting everything working. Got up again at 8am to man the stand for the day, which goes on until 7pm. During the morning, whilst fettling the lighting on the stand, I slip, fall, and bang my head on the corner of a wooden shelf, putting a large lump on my forehead, with a T-shaped divot out of the middle. I spend the following 30 minutes trying not to be sick, and feel distinctly woozy until the end of the day.

After that long first day's over I just want to go to bed, but am persuaded out to a local restaurant where the organisers have laid on a meal for us. A can of red bull later and I'm feeling a bit better. I still don't feel great, so don't eat anything, but do have a couple of pints. I say my goodnights, and head back to the hotel where I notice that the pool's still open. A quick dip before bed seems like just the ticket, so I grab my goggles and head outside. "The pool shuts in 15 minutes" says the receptionist. "Perfect" thinks I, nodding to the lifeguard and the sweet looking girl he's chatting up.

The pool's lovely at this time of night. A few gentle laps, and I forget the troubles and stresses of the week. It's also enough for me to forget the state of exhaustion, injury, and mild drunkenness I'm in, and I do a length underwater. It feels good, so I do another, which also feels good. Then I do two. 36 metres. Nowhere near my PB, but then I set that 50 metre finless-dynamic 10 years ago when I was young, skinny and swimming fairly regularly. I'm none of those now. I'm older, lardier, and haven't done any apnea training for years. Time, hayfever and bad ears have put the dampers on any chance I had to get seriously into freediving.

Still, the two lengths felt good, and in my relaxed, and apparently addled, state, I think "Let's go for 3". 54 metres. Actually exceeding my PB, but I didn't think of that at the time; it was just 3 lengths. Only a bit more than I'd just done, right? I spend 5 minutes relaxing and breathing up. The warmth of the evening, and the tiredness of my body make this easy. At no point during this process do I remember that I've been drinking, or that my head is injured, or that I've had 3 hours sleep, or that I've been on my feet for 11 hours, or that I've only eaten 1 cold slice of pizza during the day. Relaxing in the warm, dark pool means that I have literally forgotten my worries.

Ducking under and kicking off, length 1 goes fine and I feel strong at the turn. Length 2 feels even better than during my previous 2 length swim, so I make the turn for 3. About half way down the pool, my hands start to tingle and the end wall starts to recede into the distance, but I push on. Nearly there! I remember reaching the end of the pool and starting to stand up before my thoughts turn strange. I'm guessing shallow water blackout, with the 10-15% pressure drop from 1.5m at the pool bottom to atmospheric pressure at the surface being enough to keel me over, but by this time I'm in the arms of my beautiful maiden and perfectly happy to breathe water for however long it'll take me to realise something is wrong.

On my way to the changing room I nod to the lifeguard and his girl. Naturally, neither had noticed anything out of the ordinary. Why would they? Just a couple of kids, neither expecting to have a total fuckwit in their pool that night.

Posted to remind myself.

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How to drown yourself in a hotel pool. | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Concussion... by dmg (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 02:40:53 PM EST
You really should get professional attention with that...

It can kill you!
Ain't no time for crossing over, from the PM to the dawn!
Maggotron is gonna rock them, Maggotron has got the bomb!

+1FP by motty (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 02:43:40 PM EST

Fine piece of writing, though. Very fine.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

Thanks! by Gully Foyle (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 03:58:44 PM EST
This is the first diary with any story structure I've posted. I'm normally pretty shy, but I wanted to think more clearly about what happened last week, and have a permanent record of it. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

[ Parent ]
glad you're here to tell the tale, dude -nt- by clover kicker (4.00 / 2) #3 Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 02:48:49 PM EST

ditto! (nt) by crux (4.00 / 1) #4 Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 03:23:37 PM EST

[ Parent ]
ditto! (nt) by Gully Foyle (4.00 / 1) #6 Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 03:59:18 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Yikes! by dn (4.00 / 2) #7 Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 10:05:17 PM EST
More proof, as if any was needed, that exercise kills.

    I ♥   

Three is my personal best too by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 11:33:23 PM EST
I always chicken out when I cock the hammer on the fourth chamber.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
Wow by hulver (4.00 / 1) #9 Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 04:51:09 AM EST
So you still beat your PB then?
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Nah. by Gully Foyle (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 05:12:57 AM EST
I did the distance, but I wouldn't count it since I didn't make a clean exit. I did the 50m without samba or blackout. Besides, if I'd realised I was attempting a PB, I'd have probably engaged my brain and not tried it :)

[ Parent ]
How to drown yourself in a hotel pool. | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback