The swimming challenge
Hello. My name's Christina and I can't swim.
For as long as I can remember, revealing my non-swimming status has felt like a guilt-ridden, shameful confession. When I tell people, it's often met with some sort of derision - a raised eyebrow to full-blown laughter. I mean, who doesn't swim? Well, me.
I also can't ride a bike, but I'll save that for another blog...
The simple crux of the matter is, if your parents or school don't teach you then chances are you're not going to learn to swim as a child. Both circumstances apply to me. I don't know why that's so hard to believe.
Nevertheless, I've taken it upon myself to negate my fears and learn to swim as an adult. I am ridiculously excited and nervous about this.
My gym membership comes with access to a pool and I'm slowly but surely making progress. I've gone from making a beeline to the sauna and avoiding the pool at all costs; to dunking a foot in; to clinging to the edge and kicking; to submerging my face; to floating (letting go for a non-swimmer is terrifying); to - just recently - stretching out and moving in something of a swim-like fashion.
Investing in some goggles (I'm pretty much blind without contact lenses) and a fetching, bright orange nose peg has been helpful in building my confidence in the water, but there's a lot more to it than that.
I recently wrote about the joy and sense of empowerment in trying something new. There is no better way to describe how I felt the other night when I moved through the water. This is something I've dreamed of and I feel brave and proud of conquering my fear.
I felt the same way when I did my first 5 and 10K. It wasn't long ago that I thought this was impossible - yet here I am, training for my first half marathon.
Letting go of fear and self-doubt is one of the most rewarding experiences of life - it means you're actually experiencing life.
I don't care how cheesy it sounds: as someone who does a good job of doubting myself at every turn, I really did feel alive that day.
Thanks to the boyf for shouting encouragement pool-side.