Doing hard things – the dilemma and the decision

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Land tortoises aren’t especially attractive, are they?

As I navigate into this world of swimming, I am betwixt calling myself a swimmer and a former land tortoise.

Do it? Don’t do it? I did it!

Still on the outside to some extent, I keenly observe human aquatic creatures. How you move about in the water, your level of ease, the effortless way you seem to both inhale and exhale while simultaneously kicking your feet and moving your arms in a horizontal position. And your buoyancy. Me likey your buoyancy. I am among you but not quite ready to say I am one of you for fear I might be revealed as an impostor.


The day before going to Playa del Carmen in Mexico, I could be found at the neighborhood pool. I successfully wrangled my orange hair, freckle face OS to join me and as we all know teenage boys LOVE going to the pool with their mamas, right? And if their mamas are learning to swim, well, let’s just say Ike was BEYOND words for this adventure…




We arrived at the pool and I informed Ike that I absolutely had to jump into the water seven times because his dad had told me so. Ike was very eager for me to get the task completed but when you have spent most of your life as a land tortoise, it’s harder than one thinks especially if one is an impatient, orange hair, freckle face OS.


But I did it.

This is the scene of the incident,
feel the tension!

And then I told Ike what I was going to do next. I was going to jump into the deep end. With a mixture of encouragement and nonchalance, Ike approved. In a flash, I approached the nine foot water and immersed myself into the pool. I repeated this activity several times.


The whistle blew and it became adult swim time. Again I was in the deep end of the water. Everything was going well until I was mistakenly identified as a swimmer.

That ball bobbing in the water…
what was a former land tortoise to do? 



A little urchin of a boy who apparently hadn’t noticed that although I was in the deep end of the pool, I was still clutching the side, approached me. “Could you get the tennis ball for me?” he asked unaware of the enormity of his question.


I was dumbfounded as I looked and saw a bright yellow tennis ball right in the middle of the water. I wish there was some kind of attractive, water-resistant sign I could have as a reminder that I am NEW at this. You know the kind of sign on top of a car used in driver’s ed? 

I’d like something along these lines
but cuter, sassier and water-resistant, please.



“Um,” I stammered. “I’m not that great of a swimmer and I don’t know how to stop in the middle so I can probably get your tennis ball but I’ll have to give it to you on the other side.” That poor child just wanted his toy not a long explanation. He probably wished he had just waited. 

This would also work but in purple and with squiggles.

Without giving him a chance to respond and wanting to look like the heroine, I dramatically inhaled a big glob of air. In a splash (get it, splash?) I swam my way in the deep end, paused momentarily to intercept the tennis ball and returned it to him on the other side as promised.


As it was on the eve of our big vay-kay, I just had to smile to the Lord. I felt Him winking at me from the heavens saying, “We did this.” Another challenge met. It was a proud and humorous aquatic event. I guess  I’m becoming less of a land tortoise after all. But I do have a lingering question…how do you people stop in the middle? 

“Hi, I’m Cindy and I’m a recovering land tortoise.”
A terrible picture of me but I love the dents in my
head from the swim goggles. Btw, I don’t have buckteeth. 

And would you believe that another astonishing thing happened to me on Monday? Another crazy water story I will share forthwith! You bless me, truly you do with every prayer and motivating message! 

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2 thoughts on “Doing hard things – the dilemma and the decision

  1. You know you were set up my God, don't you? He did that just so you could see what a triumphant person you are! I love your honesty with the boy too. BTW – I think you stay in the middle by kicking your feet under the water while relaxing your arms above water to give you some buoyancy. So, its half floating and have swimming. I will have to test my theory out the next time I am in the pool. I am not that experienced of a swimmer myself to know for sure. Can't wait to hear your next story! Have I said how proud of you I am? Well, I will say it again. I am so proud of you. You make me smile.

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