Last month I finally enrolled myself for swimming lessons at the neighborhood club. Its been something that I hadn’t had a chance to learn as a child. This year, after almost two or three years of missing deadlines, I finally knew that before my next birthday, I’ll know how to swim.
As someone who loves to workout, I thought that learning the form would be a piece of cake for me, but how wrong was i!!!!
The day finally arrived when the classes started, they made us stretch and shower before getting into the pool. In the pool we went step by step as well.. First we practiced kicking, then kicking when we were on our stomach and then we were in the water, and boy was it fun!!!
I’m not the tallest person in the world, so the 5 feet deep pool was barely manageable for me, I had to stand on my tippy toes to keep my head above the water… Before you decide to crack the code of how tall I am, I’m 5’2″.
So every day I felt like there were new challenges and new lessons learnt and progress made. Although I was one of the few who were the slowest to learn, by the last day, I finally got a hang of it, and I know that with a little practice, I can start doing laps in no time.
A few things that surprised me that I learnt at the swim lessons that had nothing to do with swimming are:
1. The blank noise when you’re under water is the most peaceful time and it literally makes you forget the world outside. If you learn to love it, and become one with the water, you’ll learn sooner.
This was a lesson I learn at the fag end of the course though, most of the initial days, I used to get very nervous and flail around and tense up.
which brings me to my next lesson…
2. You need to be able to completely relax your body to be able to swim. Unlike other forms of exercises, you don’t need to flex or squeeze your muscles. Now this was a revelation to me, as every single workout I’ve done, especially Pilates (which I currently practice) needs me to flex and not let my muscles loose,
This made me realize that the rules on the land and the rules in water are quite different. Over the course of the camp, I finally learnt to let go and relax and enjoy the water.
3. Friends across the demographic. This was a fun and interesting thing that happened at the camp, I made new friends, women of different ages and backgrounds who were there to learn to swim, and that was fun!
It made me realize that I need to keep my group really diverse.. And swimming helped me do that.
4. I liked having something to do besides going to work. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to learn new things, get your body moving. It’s scary at first, but you’ll love yourself for not giving up.
5. This camp made me realize just how stubborn I can be. Like I said, i was one of the last few women in our group to let go of my fear and learn to swim.
There were moments when I wanted to just give in and give up, and the very next moment my stubbornness would kick in and wouldn’t let me give up. I was determined to learn if it was the last thing I ever did.
Being as competitive as I am, the biggest challenge for me was not let others progress (which was way ahead of me), get to me. Yes I am very very competitive, about pretty much EVERYTHING. This forced me to forget others, not give up on myself and compete with only me..
And this has been my attitude for everything in life, when i have wanted something, giving up is not even an option.
6. When you focus on what you want, everything else fades into the background, the criticism, the opinions of others, its becomes inaudible when you understand that the blank noise of being under water is not scary but its the thing which helps you get perspective. And the only thing you really want will come into focus.
7. Its very easy to rely on (proverbial) crutches, I used to rely mostly on the handle bars, I used to stick to the corners and not really give up. Outside the pool as well, I have so many different crutches that I refuse to let go of, because I don’t think I can do without them. That hit me hard and made me reevaluate my life outside the pool.
Lessons aside, I can finally SWIM!!! Who would’ve thought!!
And at this moment, I’ll choose to just be proud of me and enjoy this moment.
See you in the water sometime…