I was a young boy living on the farm at the time. It was winter and the lakes and ponds had been thoroughly frozen. I looked outside my bedroom window and the sun was out and shining brightly on the snow; the thermometer that hung outside my window read -10 celcius. It was a perfect day to go ice skating on the pond. I dressed up rather warmly and headed out to my destination that was over two kilometers away. On the walk to the pond I thought about all sorts of things. Christmas was drawing near and I wondered what my parents would be getting me for gifts. What I really wanted was a new pair of skates and one of the expensive composite hockey sticks. But times were tough at home financially and I likely wouldn't get much at all. I was now ten years old and many people had told me that I was an excellent hockey player, but unfortunately my parents could not afford to put me in an organized league. So sadly while the organized games were going on in the indoor arenas I was outside on the pond all by myself, freezing to death. I enjoyed it but what I really wanted was to play with all of the other boys.
During my reverie I had not remembered walking the two kilometers to the pond. Once I had arrived I sat down on a rock, tied my skates, then tossed a puck on the ice and pulled out the net from behind a tree. It hadn't snowed in days and the ice was free of snow from the last time I shoveled. I hopped out onto the ice and started to blade around, firing the puck at the net. Lost in my enjoyment I hadn't realized that I had been out on the ice for hours and the sun was setting. It was time to go home.
I was standing about ten feet away from the edge of land to take a drink of water when there was a series of loud cracks and suddenly the ice gave out under me and I slipped through. Plunging into the water I tried to scream for help but instead swallowed a gallon of ice water. I attempted to use my feet to swim back to the surface but it was impossible with skates on. I quickly extended my arm to grab onto the ice but it kept breaking off. Finally after three wild grabs I found solid ice and pulled myself out.
My body was shaking from the cold. I quickly tried to take my skates off but my fingers had gone numb. I threw my jacket overtop of me and started to walk home in my skates. By the time I had made it home it was dark and I was nearly frozen. My parents took me in and got me out of my clothes and wrapped warm blankets around my body. From this point it took me a day to warm up, but I had survived.
Later that summer we were in town and I hopped into the community pool for a swim. For some reason as soon as I hit the water I started to panic as my mind flashed back to when I nearly drowned under the ice. For some reason I couldn't swim and sunk to the bottom of the deep end. Two lifeguards jumped in to come and rescue me. They pulled me out of the water and gave me mouth to mouth resuscitation, the whole time I could sense them around me but I couldn't respond. I thought I was going to die.
Once revived they asked me why I jumped in the deep end when I couldn't swim. I told them I was a great swimmer but I had a traumatic incident last winter where I had almost drowned after falling through the ice on a pond.
Three weeks later I tried to give swimming another try, but again upon entry into the water I sunk to the bottom. That was fifty years ago and I still can't swim to this day.