Today I took my first swimming class since I was a child.
As an Australian where swimming is almost a religion, I was always sad that I couldn’t really swim. I can do basic breaststroke and backstroke but the infamous Aussie Crawl (Freestyle) was always too hard.
Like most kids here I went to lessons at school, but 20 kids in a class was not enough. I really needed one-on-one attention to get me past that fear of putting my head in the water. Too many ocean dunkings and a near drowning had left me with a fear of putting my head under the water.
As I got older I swam less and less, until my lack of confidence and dislike for how I looked in a swimsuit stopped me from going in. I went years without a dip in the ocean! Living in a place with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and a public swimming pool only ever less than a km away, this was utter madness.
One day I was at the beach for a picnic. I had recently started to come to terms with my body and the smell of the ocean was heady… The sound of the waves lapping made it irresistible and despite not having a swimsuit on me I went in, in shorts and a t-shirt and it was DIVINE!!!
Since then I try not to go too long without a dip in the ocean. Which brings me back to today’s lesson. It was a workshop full of people who to me were fit and could swim well. But I didn’t let that daunt me and in I went. It took a couple of goes before I relaxed but I loved it. I loved being able to see the seaweed and the little fish swimming below me. Such utter peace and calm.
Panorama of Clovelly Beach by Dave Tozer
This summer beach swims will become a regular thing as well as more lessons, till I get to the stage where I will be able to proudly say that I am a swimmer!
Is there something you have always wanted to do but always thought you couldn’t? If so go and do it. Ask someone for help if you need to, but like I did- just go and swim! 🙂