I remember when I took swimming lessons as a kid. At first I was very nervous, but in time I grew to love swimming. I also recall pretending to be a mermaid (thanks to the Little Mermaid) so that I could swim all day. In the midwest, swimming meant going to a lake or pool. So I didn’t exactly realize that swimming in the ocean would be different.
I hated it. The water was salty, there were different fish and dangers to be aware of, and the beach was not what I was used to. I was ten and thought that the ocean would be a magical place but it was terrifying to be honest. I remember going out a bit from the shore but not totally in the deep and immediately getting pulled under. At this time I was a pretty confident swimmer but the shock took over and I wanted nothing but to resurface and get the hell out of the water. When I did, I never went back in.
So I knew now that the ocean wasn’t my thing, but I still loved to swim. It was the best part of the summer after all. Then came the time that I almost drowned.
I was on a speed boat with family and friends and we were tubing. It was my first time on the tube so I thought it would be fun. Something inside me was hesitant though, but I ignored it. As I was going, water splashing in my face and up my nose, I tried my hardest to hold on. Eventually, I felt that I was going too fast and yelled to go slower. But my shouts went unheard.
The boat sped up and I tried to hold on even tighter. An oncoming boat made my boat shift directions too quickly and off I went. Although I was wearing a life jacket I plunged deep into the water touching the weeds at the bottom as I sank. I tried to pull myself to the surface but I kept sinking. I remember just seeing the sunshine through blurred waves and hoping I could hold my breath long enough. I considered taking off the sinking life jacket but didn’t trust my judgement. Eventually, I floated back up and on to the boat where I never went tubing again.
That was several years ago, but the memory of my lungs filling with water and the helplessness I felt at the time never truly left. Which gave me an adverse feeling towards water and swimming.
My theme for 2016 was “Dauntless” to be fearless. Although it is now 2017 I am still carrying on the ideals of facing my fears. One of those being swimming. I did start swimming before my trip to Australia last summer and while I was there did a lot of swimming. The beauty of where I was helped me forget that I was afraid. Now I am facing my fears to become a more confident swimmer by swimming two to three days a week.
The first day was rough, I hated it. I hated the smell of the pool, the water in my nose and lungs, and the overall exhaustion that comes with it. It’s been a few weeks now and I am getting better. I even invested in a pair of googles. I still don’t have my childhood love of water but the more I try to swim the less afraid I am.
For now my inspiration for swimming is to be as fit as possible before the Warrior Dash at the end of the month. I get that not having a reason to face your fears except the sole reason in itself, but I hope that anyone who reads this finds hope to continue or even start facing their own fears.
Until next post ❤️ Rx