LIFE LIST ITEM #7 | LEARN TO SWIM

I can’t swim.

In the words of Notorious B.I.G., “If you don’t know, now you know”

Some people are really surprised by this. I’m totally a summer person. I grew up on an island. And, if you are picking up any common themes running through my posts, I would happily live the rest of my life on a beach. #beachlife

It isn’t that I’m terrified of water, as such.  I love being in a pool lounging and splashing around.  I can ‘technically’ swim to save my life. But the ocean terrifies the crap out of me. It’s calm and serene yet wild and unpredictable. It represents a force that is way bigger than all of us, and is a constant reminder to how small we are in this universe.

Maybe it has something to do with growing up in an area where people made their livelihood at sea. Rarely does a week go by that you don’t hear a tragic story. Maybe it has something to do with my ingrained, type-A desire to always want to be in control. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t like when I’m not good at something.

 

Whatever it is my fear of the ocean has always held me back from fully embracing one of my great loves of the water.

I have always envied those people who could go to a pool and do laps or swim freely in the ocean. My fear became blatantly apparent this summer while learning to stand up paddle board with my girlfriends. It was something I’ve wanted to do since moving to Vancouver, but when push came to shove, I was terrified. My entire body shook the first time I went to stand on the board and hold my own in a few choppy waves. My initial reaction to shy away from doing it. That is total nonsense.

Last year I made the conscious decision that no matter what I did in life, I would always try to be moving in a forward direction. No matter how big or small my actions were, I wanted them to be taking me closer to something I wanted to achieve, or a better life in general.

Putting all of the excuses I’ve hid behind for years aside, I finally registered for adult  swim lessons. I am, by no means, ready to sign up for a triathlon or anything, but I’m facing a big fear of mine and pushing myself outside my comfort zone.

This life list item also ties directly into item #8, to learn to surf. I feel this step is the literal version of putting the horse before the cart. I’m frightened and vulnerable and excited and nervous all at once. I almost didn’t go on my first night. Walking to the doors of the aquatic centre, I was terrified. Something inside me tried to talk me out of it. But I pushed myself to take the first step, just show up. Always moving forward right?!

Today, I can happily say I crossed off # 7 on my life list. That feels pretty damn good.

 

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