Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The first swimming lesson

2010 started off a bit rough, but where there may be a roadblock there's also an opportunity - in early February I went back to swimming lessons.

I say I went back because I did go to swimming lessons once before. I was 6. My mom enrolled me in swim class with some neighborhood kids. I hated it and feared going.

The last class we had to 'dive' into the pool from the edge. I remember thinking through the process and not wanting to do it. At one point, she said I could have anything I wanted from K-mart if I just did it. That's the only time she ever said that, but I decided the task at hand was too big of a risk. Instead I opted to 'fail.' I was in trouble in the car on the way home, but I had taken a stand and held it for the next 24 years. I would not swim.

Until this past February.

Knowing I would never willingly sign myself up for lessons, I suggested that they be bought as a Christmas gift. In early February, I showed up at Northwestern's pool to find five other, seemingly normal adults, standing around waiting for an instructor.

We were the beginner swimming group.

We got in the pool. The instructor introduced herself. We made small talk.

Then she explained our first exercise. We would float face down in the water.

A look of fear immediately crossed all of our faces.

This is what we all feared.

I momentarily thought about getting out of the pool and just going home. I'd made it to 30 without swimming, I would be fine without it. Then I thought of how I never thought I'd run a marathon and I've proven I can do that so...maybe I should just try this stupid floating thing?

So I did it.

And, somehow, I lived.

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