Since I have this newly found time on my hands I started a number of new things. I started dabbling in real estate, started flag football, tried Toastmasters-again, traveled to a couple of places, started a gym membership, and even started swimming. My ultimate goal for swimming is to do a triathlon by the age of thirty. Sounds simple enough.
To be honest, swimming would’ve never crossed my mind if my friend Tee hadn’t started it. All these years I wanted to learn swimming but something always got in the way of starting. I’ve done numerous water activities without knowing how to swim. I’ve gone surfing, kayaking, rafting, scuba diving, canoeing, banana boatinng and I even Shot the Hootch. All very good times.
Only recently did I consider why I didn’t try to learn to swim. Truth is, I’ve had many negative feelings associated with swimming. For instance, the first time I was invited to swim was also the first day I ever had my period. Somehow I associated swimming as a something that you couldn’t so when you were menstruating. Another event was when my cousin almost drowned while we were at the water park. I was nine and he was seven. While on our tube e had drifted to a deeper part of the pool and the next thing I see is my cousin sinking, flailing, and gasping for air. I still remember the helplessness on his face and the urgency as the lifeguard instantly jumped into the water to save him. We never told anyone.
Beyond that, there’s this other issue about body image.As a kid, I had a surgically repaired outy belly button which I never liked. My arms were too muscular and I didn’t like the broadness of my shoulders. My boobs were too small. My size A cups didn’t quite fill the swimsuit. Let’s not forget my legs, they looked so bulky with stretch marks and discoloration.All of this was too much to reveal. In addition, I felt like I just looked weird as an older person trying to swim.
I carried this weight for years. Until I finally decided to let go of the baggage and just do me. That’s exactly what I did. I joined a swimming class and I loved it. It was refreshing it was challenging, it was different! It felt so natural! Like we were meant to be floating in water peddling away. Swimming has taught me so much in a span of a few weeks. It’s taught me to let go. I’ve had to let go of my fears and insecurities and just be naturally me. It’s ok to not be perfect. In life, you have to get past those things. You have to just keep swimming.