What is life when you don’t do things you longed to? Do you ever think what is holding you from doing them? Is it that may be they are not your thing? Or are you just procrastinating to a ‘some day in future’?
I ask these questions often to myself. Then I realize I have a lot of things queued up in my list and I am just whiling away the time doing things unwanted and unneeded, and so wasting opportunities. That is what I call ‘getting distracted from your purposes’.
One such thing in my to-do list that I have longed for was to be able to swim on my own (no supports). Life has given me not-so-many and not-so-few opportunities to learn swimming, but I never really could. I tried a few times and failed because life happened. And when I was ready for it, I did not have a proper guidance. I could swim with the support of an aqua belt, I could do laps. But what is the fun when you are not doing it on your own? I never liked the experience.
And well, like they say, things happen only when it’s the right time, I got a rare opportunity to learn swimming. And yes, this rare opportunity knocked my door just like every time when I was really tied up with the busiest responsibilities of my life and when I am not at all ready. But well, when you have to do it, you have to do it…and I finally learned to swim!
I swam alone, and I swam with myself…not like Phelps of course, but like myself. I will master it some day. But for now, I made a start and I am elated.
But, more than the proud feeling of becoming a successful swimmer who can swim in freestyle, tapping my legs, moving my hands, holding my breath and crawling forward making a stroke, what I love about swimming is the liberating feeling that I get.
Swimming takes you to a totally different world. It enlivens you and bails you out of stress. It is an exhilarating experience. It is therapeutic to get lost in the waters and feel lighter. Swimming is like to meditate.
As I learnt the techniques, I realized swimming is logic and philosophy combined with self-confidence and trust in the science behind it.
Some rules of thumb to swim (not expert tips but major philosophy), from my diary.
- Believe in the science.
When you stretch your arms and leave your legs to float, believe in the science. Believe in the Principle of flotation and the Archimedes Law. In lay man’s terms, since you are pumping up your lungs with air, you are like a balloon and you weigh less than the water you displace, hence you WILL float (automatically). When you believe in the science, you have no room for fear and you learn the floating technique easily. So, do not force yourself into the game foolishly, instead understand the technique.
- Face your fears
Why face the fears, when you can not try and run away? Well, yes, you can do it. But how far can you run away and how many times? I love this quote by Nelson Mandela. “May your choice reflect your hopes, not your fears”. Think about it when you can swim but not sit on the banks to watch others having fun. Remember, the moment negativity creeps into your mind, the game is over. Shun it and move forward.
- Move or Land – don’t be of two minds
When you have started to move forward, keep going. Do not be indecisive. It will confuse you and scare you. You either move forward, or land. Landing in water is also a technique to be learnt. Improper landing can sprain your legs and can get water into you.
And of course it is absolutely important to master breathing technique and learn the proper posture to become a good swimmer and be injury-free. Bubble (inhale with mouth and exhale with your head in the water, repeat) every time in between laps to relax yourself.
I am hoping to learn the different techniques going forward in life. I am hoping to swim every summer, in pools, in lakes, in rivers and in seas?!
So, why not give it a try today if not already? Embrace the waters and embrace yourself. Find a new world and a new joy. Make a start today! I hope you will have a happy and safe swimming! 🙂