Learning to swim

I am 38, almost 39 (kissing 40’s ripe butt), and I don’t know how to swim.  I am not saying I am a weak swimmer.  I am saying that if I was tossed in a lake and left I would probably panic, sink, and drown.  

I remember starting swimming lessons over and over as a kid but my anxiety always made getting past putting my face underwater impossible.  In high school, I avoided learning in PE by taking dance instead. 


This summer we are going to the ocean.  I am going to swim in the Atlantic Ocean.  An OCEAN! Maybe not swim.  I only have 2 months, but I will get in and play with my kids.  I will be comfortable enough not to make them anxious.  

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Today the kids worked on going under water, and I learned how to tow them. I learned how to grab them so if I needed to do it under pressure I could.   They are no longer the little delicate, slippery babies I remember. I can grab them and hold them with out wording about breaking them.

Our friend had me practice sitting on the bottom, and for a moment I was my main character.  She loves water.  It is one of her elements of power.  She sits at the bottom of rivers and lakes.  She can’t breath water, but she makes it seem so.  

I forced down my own panic in those 3-5 second bursts to try to gain a glimpse into what my character sees underwater.  The main thing I noticed is that once I relaxed, I tended to float back up.  My husband said to stay down I need to empty my lungs some.  Definitely can work this into my story.  But how does having hooves affect her swimming?    

A lot of time I feel like I am drowning.  Between the additional needs of the kids and the unrealistic expectations I have for myself I feel like I am floundering (pun? Oops!) just like I did trying to get the diving baton that was right next to me.   I can see my goal and it looks like all I have to do is reach out and grab it.  But then I float up and the more I move the harder I have to work to get it.  Then I need to come up for air.

For those of you who don’t know her, Ariannai is the main character in my first story.  Ari weathers all her worry, and doesn’t seem beset by self-doubt.  She seems to accept that she makes bad decisions and just tries to figure out how to fix it.  Stay calm. How does she weather the storm? Well she doesn’t fight it like I do, she controls the water and the air.

I need to think about this at our next lesson.  

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