Approximately 2 years ago I made a decision. I decided I wanted to officially learn how to swim. Now, I wasn’t a total newbie to swimming. I knew the basics of swimming. I just never grasped those basics through practical use. I liked to say “I knew how to keep myself alive long enough to find something to cling onto”. I remember when I was in middle school, my best friend, my brother, and I were playing in the deep end of the pool. We were bored with the shallow end, which was where the “little kids” played. We decided to entertain ourselves by jumping off the diving board and kinda-sorta swimming over to the edge of the pool. I say kinda-sorta because we would jump as close as we could to the edge all while splashing our arms like crazy trying to get back to the edge of the pool. The lifeguard on duty grew tired of our dangerous game and made us take the swim test to see if we knew what we were doing. We all failed. For years I carried that in the back of my mind. Me splashing like a fish caught in a net, pretending like I knew what the heck I was doing.
Fast forward over 20 years later and I still was splashing around like I knew what I was doing. One of the first trips David and I took together we stayed at a hotel that had a pool. I hopped in and David patiently looked on poolside. Thank God I was blessed with long arms and legs. I simply pushed and stretched myself from one edge of the pool to the next. David shook his head and grinned. I wasn’t embarrassed. In fact we still laugh about that memory today. But I knew that now as an adult I had very few excuses for not knowing how to swim.
Fast forward to a year later. I decided it was time for me to learn how to swim…for real this time. No self-taught barely swimming BS. My purpose in learning how to swim was because I didn’t want a fear of drowning to be an excuse to not enjoy myself in the water if the opportunity ever came up. I’m not the biggest fan of large bodies of water, but that’s a fear for another day. I wanted to overcome a hurdle and prove to myself that I was capable. I enrolled in the adult class at the local swim school. I expected maybe three or four attendees at most. However, the class was full of at least twelve other adults whom, like myself, needed to accomplish this goal. There were adults younger than me and others who were much older than myself. By the end of that 6-week course I was much more confident in my abilities. I could do things in the water that I hadn’t been able to before.
To this day I compare swimming to riding a bike. If it’s been awhile since you’ve done it you might be a little rusty, but it will come back to you. In the years since, I don’t regret the measly $125 I spent on the class, or the hours it cut into my evening once a week. I invested in myself and I’m so glad I did.