Somehow I kept my head above water. I relied on the discipline, character, and strength that I had started to develop as that little girl in her first swimming pool.
I was 15, and the years of hard swimming had packed muscle on my frame and made me very strong. Not as strong as a football player, but strong enough to inflict heavy damage.
I always felt that if I made a movie, it would be one movie; I didn't see how they could make 26 swimming movies.
No one had ever done a swimming movie before so we just made it up as we went along. I ad-libbed all my own underwater movements.
Traveling to swimming meets took me beyond my small-town existence, gave me a hint of the exciting world outside of my own home.
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