Conquering a fear: adult swimming lessons begin

Yesterday I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a good long while: I took the first step in learning how to swim.  Though I had some lessons at the lake near my house growing up, I never got very far.  (Due to my water-logged swim shoes, I couldn’t kick my feet hard enough to propel myself forward.  The reason I was wearing the swim shoes to begin with?  I didn’t want to get my feet dirty from the bottom of the lake, of course.)  At some point I stopped taking lessons and my summers were consumed by other activities.  Now, at 27, I feel like I ought to make an effort.

I have some incentive.  You may know that Guy and I are getting married next April (hooray!).  We are planning to go to Australia for our honeymoon, and I would love to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.  I don’t think panicking in deep water is going to serve that goal.  So this summer, I’ve decided that my Personal Improvement Project is learning to swim.

I’m taking an adult immersion swim class at Asphalt Green which is designed to make non-swimmers independent in deep water.  It meets Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of August – 15 sessions in all.  I am pleased to report that I did not drown during my first class, so I can only assume it will be onward and upward from here!

I’m already finding some parallels between my yoga teacher training and swimming, and I hope to share more of those thoughts with you as the summer progresses.  For now, I can say that although I definitely have some fear and aversion (two of the klesas, or obstacles, if you’re following along in Sanskrit), learning to swim is something I know I can do.  It may be challenging, but most worthwhile goals are.  Like a wise teacher once told me, all moments of intensity eventually end.  We just don’t always know how long the moment will be.