I want to be a fish!
For four decades plus I have never been able to conquer my biggest nemesis. Pitifully, I sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else having fun and exercise. I feel sorry for myself, wriggle in the water and make excuses, hating the splash of water coming anywhere near my eyes: simply, I can not swim.
People have tried to teach me, and yes I have had lessons at school, with a family member and more adult lessons. I get so far and then give up. The last instructor, more than 15 yrs ago, said if I gave up then, I would die a non-swimmer.
So why has this old phobia come back to haunt me again? Should I really care about my situation as a non-floater or should I just say:
“What the hell. I have many other talents, why should I care about this?”
Actually I do care, because I have become brave in so many ways just recently – that I am becoming quite rattled at letting this get the better of me. Most importantly of all, it is probably the last vestige of childhood sadness and lack of confidence that is left in my life. It reminds me of that frail girl, skinny and shy, full of doubts and hating the way she looked in a swimming costume. All those hang ups.
Every-time I get into a swimming pool, as I do with husband and daughter, I am reminded of that little person then, and I am no longer anything like her in most respects.Change is a wonderful thing if it is for the better and I have changed so much.
It is not just the layers of fat that have developed over my frame as the time has passed. Layers and layers of growth and potential have clothed and embraced me as I have knocked down fear and negativity, like a game of bowls. A true striker now and my shot gets better and steadier that I surprise myself. Like all people, I have set backs and disappointments, but these are all part of the course.
So, how has all this change and growth come about? It is an easy answer, and one I am willing on here to share . I have had a period of excellent personal counselling. No more need be said, it was simply life-changing.
I can truly say, without being boastful, that I love who I am now. My acceptance of myself is real as well as realistic. Strengths and weakness are acknowledged and I am never afraid of constructive comment, because I am comfortable with who I am as a whole.
Back to the swimming.
My fear of water was initiated because I had to be fished out of the water once at school. Me and my little float just sunk together. Having not forgotten this, I simply dare not take my feet of the bottom. I jump along, hold the sides as I am walking along the shallow end and bob up and down.
My Daughter learnt to swim at nine and she gets frustrated with me. My husband has never tried to teach me, knowing it would be unlikely to be fruitful. He says to me:
“Only you will make up your mind when you are going to do this.”
This exercise would be great for my female bones, at greater risk of osteoporosis as she is ageing. My back would benefit too, as I have a slight weakness there. It could shed a few pounds;how laughable that sounds from someone who weighed so little for so long, until she hit 40. But all these are added bonuses. There is one crucial reason for learning to swim for me.
My figuring is, that IF I could conquer this fear, which is the biggest of them all for me; and If this psychological barrier of fear could be overcome then what else might I be able to achieve. This is for me IT.
So, the case is strong for me to try again. I am full of doubts and my courage wax and wane. I have to book lessons, let alone get there. Always putting it off. I need to wait until the spring, summer, autumn, until my daughter can be left awhile, if my husband is on shift I tell myself. Full, of excuses and reasons to wait.
Well, my time is now.
The saying is well known to many.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway”
I will certainly be feeling the fear all the way.
Whether I succeed or fail is if I can cross that mental barrier. It will takes me months I know, if I can achieve this then it will be tremendous.
Wish me luck! I will need it.