As many of you now know from previous posts, all my life I have been afraid to swim. The amount of toil and moil I have wasted in making sure the words of “non-swimmer” stayed on me like the world’s worst tattoo or the longest acting sunblock ev, ugh.
To be sure, there is no badge of honor or virtue attached to the title of “non-swimmer.” Your words of encouragement and support help mend that broken place I have carried too long.
Last night as we gathered to discuss Chapters 7-8 in Doing Hard Things, I decided to share with the girls in the book study, my personal struggle with water. As suspected, everyone in the room knew how to swim but me. When they heard that I had jumped into the pool SEVEN whole times earlier this week, they giggled good-naturedly and rejoiced in my feat. As I told them how difficult it’s been for me to face this fear, the girls and my co-leaders didn’t show condemnation, instead I sensed…
flowing from their hearts. As they listened, one of the girls, bless her heart, even clapped for me. When the night ended, those girls said they would be praying for me and I believe this to be true.
And you know what else has been incredible?
For years I have told myself that at the very moment I enter the water, EVERYONE and I do mean EVERYONE in the entire pool or any significant body of water for that matter, stops whatever they are doing and begins to notice. Like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, adults and young children jeered at me most assuredly. The floundering limbs, exaggerated gasps for air, combined with hopelessly blanche skin all belonging to me, the voice inside convinced me that the world stopped in horror at seeing a middle aged non-swimmer mama in the water.
But you’ll never guess what I have noticed lately. Sit down for this because it’s a biggie. No one cares about me in the pool. The lifeguards are on standby but really no one else gives a whoop. I don’t look like I don’t belong because I do belong.
A friend who regularly reads my blog, shared this with me in an email…“I think my grandmother was about 65 years old when she took swimming lessons. I remember her proudly showing us she could float. She was a pretty hefty woman at that time of her life. It is a sweet memory. If she can do it, Cindy can do it. 🙂 I also admire her for losing many, many pounds after she had a heart attack. She had always been heavy – great Southern cook with a sweet tooth. Sometime in her sixties, she started walking almost every day and dropped down to a beautiful, normal weight.”
|I will be in that water!|
An anchor of shame and incompetence has dashed decades of warm weather memories. I’m so over it. It is long overdue that I jump into the turquoise blue ocean of opportunities. I hope to be sharing with you another accomplishment as it pertains to my relationship with water in Mexico! Yes, Mexico!