I feared water. I didn’t liked sports growing up. Whenever there used to be an event in school for sports, I would go absentee. Either I won’t come in school or hide with lame excuses. The result was the same – I won’t participate in any sports whatsoever.
Of course, I played when I was at home. But many were indoor games. And the few which were outdoors, I wasn’t good at them and neither did I try.
Losing is bad, and I hated when I lost in sports. So I diverted all my attention to the studies. Because that was something I was good in – memorizing all the stuffs and losing myself in mathematics.
I got better in mathematics and lost my agility in body. Because I wasn’t playing enough like other kids.
While most of the mothers used to scold kids for playing outside, my mom used to encourage me to play at least for some time.
The First Interaction
It is natural that swimming as a sports or leisure never crossed my mind. I was too lost in the series of science which used to get telecast on Discovery and National Geographic channel. Sort of my jam was getting glued to Television for the science feed. I felt this is something at which I can excel – and thus used to empower me.
Every year there used to be a school picnic where the whole batch of students would go to a resort, water park or amusement park.
Whatever the case maybe, I won’t go. Partly because there is the financial crisis in my family. And partly because I was scared of the interaction which might happen in large groups. I was kinda on spectrum of introvert.
But I did go to the picnic when I was 5, 12 and 15 years old.
The first time was when I was young and the picnic was at a park. I sat there on the trunk of an elephant (made out of wood, I guess). And that’s it.
Every other kid was running here and there – probably enjoying their time. And teachers were smiling seeing the kids run in the wild. But I was the loner kid who was all by himself. I just remember sitting there. Because that’s what I did there.
The last picnic was the one where it was mountain trek and I enjoyed a lot. I have good memories of it – the cold, food and the painful yet fruitful trek.
Now let’s enter the fun water park where I went when I was 12. It was a water park and everyone was in the pool. There were 2 pools – one big enough for people who can swim. And another for people like me who can’t swim.
I was lurking around and then sat at the edge dipping my feet in the water. The feeling was heavenly – I wanted to sit there all day. And I did it.
But then there was a push…
Someone pushed me into the water. And I was drowning. Yes, about to die in a pool of just 3-4 feet. Where in my height was about 4.5 feet. Someone from the school staff saved me. And I was lying on the ground catching my breath.
All my life – I feared water for what it was. In the few moments of the sitting at the edge, I found some hope. And then it was shattered.
My first interaction with water at swimming pool made me stay away from swimming for so long…
The Cost Factor
Swimming is cool. Being able to swim is the next best thing to flying. And I was adamant to learn to swim when I became an adult.
But the illusion of busy kept me from trying for a long time.
One day after watching ton of motivation videos, I decided that enrolling in one will help me at least start. But the moment I landed on few websites – I realized that swimming pools cost money a lot. Especially if you come from a middle class family.
For me saving money was a big deal – that too for further education, medical emergencies and little vacation. Finding money for swimming couldn’t be fit into the bill.
So, swimming was something left untouched for a while. Now that I look back – I did spend a lot of money on other avenues. Yes, time and money are often an excuse for not doing things. Chances are they ain’t your priority for now.
The Community Aspect
After working for more than 3 years at a shipping company, I decided to move on and join another venture. It was an education hub…so there were many facilities around in campus.
Ranging from football, jogging space, gymnasium and many more. Also it had an olympic size swimming pool. I got excited. I did the enquiry and was shocked & surprised that the charge was a nominal fee which was 1/10 that of other pools.
I immediately joined the pool. It was near my office and the commute was less and it was as cheap as it could get.
But you didn’t learn swimming simply by joining.
It took me one year to learn swimming. And I was able to do it because of my friends who also joined me in swimming – one who as new as me and other new swimming.
Suffice to say I learnt swimming being 25 years old and it was a journey in itself.
After I learnt swimming despite being an adult, many people were intrigued and asked me how I did learn.
When it become like a routine thing to awe people with my swimming stories, I realized perhaps there are many more people who might want to know about learning swimming later in life.
Hence, I created this space online in form of blog as a project to share what have I learned and also learn from you guys along the journey.
Swim in along..and Stay Awesome.