Tuesday, April 10, 2012

face your fear live your dreams

Big wave 

A Swimmer's Tale

For years I've had this poster up on my wall with a picture of a wave and at the foot of the wave is the small image of a surfer sitting on his board looking up at the monstrous wave. The caption on the poster reads "Face Your Fears, Live Your Dreams." At the time I bought the poster simply because I loved the image of the beautiful blue ocean, but over the years it's the caption that has begun to have more of an effect on me.

I think almost everybody has something that they're really scared of, like snakes or spiders or public speaking. For me, it's not any of these (call me weird but I love public speaking), but I have my own fears that I sometimes need to face. One of them is swimming in really, really deep water. Not like swimming at the deep end of the lap pool, or even where I can't touch the bottom, but I get freaked completely freaked out by having to swim over the dive pool.

Kind of a strange fear for someone who used to be a competitive swimmer hey? Usually it's not something that I actually have to face... stick to the lap swimming and I'm fine, but recently I was forced to face my fear by having to swim down to the bottom of the 5 metre dive pool. It was made pretty clear - swim to the bottom, pick up the brick and bring it to the surface or not be allowed to work in the outdoor pool ie lose most of my shifts. I had no choice, however I succeeded in procrastinating having to do the dive for about 6 weeks. Then one afternoon I finally got up the guts to go and try to swim to the bottom. Hell I can swim 25m under the water horizontally, so why can't I swim 5m vertically? As I attempted the dive I was reminded of the caption on the poster on my wall "Face Your Fears, Live Your Dreams." I'd always wanted to work as a swimming teacher and I really wanted to keep my shifts... so what was I waiting for. I took a really deep breathe and started to swim, repeating the caption from the poster in my head as a mantra.

I did it! I completely surprised myself with how easy it was to dive to the bottom. It was just a matter of making up my mind to confront the challenge.

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