When I first decided to swim, I was 20 years old. But the fees of the swimming was high and I need to travel to go to the swimming pool. Hence, it was on my list but I avoided it for the longest time.
And then when I turned 25, I joined a company where there was a complimentary swimming pool access which was just 15 minutes away. So all my excuses went down the drain. And there was nothing that would stop me from learning.
But still I was avoiding the temptation to go – because often times it is the start which creates anxiety. So you have to somehow push beyond that.
Luckily for me, 2 of my colleagues (friends) also wanted to join the swimming pool. So it became easy for me. I went along with them to do the paperwork required and buy the clothes for swimming. Once they enrolled themselves – I went with the flow. And there I was for the first day of my swimming. There were 2 types of pool – one was shallow and other was deep.
Being a beginner, I went into the shallow water and stood there. Because I was in awe of the other swimmers…
People Of All Ages
I saw a kids of age 2 and above with their parents learning to swim. I guess they are the lucky ones because they would know to swim in young age. Also I saw the teenagers who were swimming hard to improve their timing and number of laps they can do. Among them also were the people above 50 – some swimming and some learning.
I was in awe. For a moment, I felt the embarrassment because I was learning something at 25 years of age. But it went out of the window once I saw the people so old open to learn new things.
I guess as they say – there is no age for learning. Your learning stops only if you decide it that way.
So did you see what happened… people as young as 2 and old as 60 are learning swimming. Also in that age group are people – who are good at swimming. It doesn’t matter because you aren’t here for a race to win with them.
You are playing a different type of game – one where you need to level up your skills against your past self. And it only gets better with time. So you got nothing to lose.
If all your excuse is an arbitrary number as 40, 35 or 50 – grow up your mind. Just dive in and compare yourself with your past. Because you are here to learn something which helps you – not to win a competition, not to show off but to be proud of ability to swim and do a bit of exercise in the process.
Will they laugh at you, criticize you and make you a joke? Probably. But let them do whatever they want. Because the world is brutal – they laugh at you when you try something different. They don’t want you to succeed because either they failed. Or they don’t want you to match their status.
Either way, you are more powerful than them – it is okay if people have bad things to say to you. Simply ignore. If someone is giving critique genuinely then fine take it. But for the rest others, shun them down.
They don’t have anything better to do. But you have this enormous task of doing little by little everyday to show up and learn.
Fail often with your tries. But not with the words of others. As Ramit Sethi said – the world wants you to be vanilla. Don’t stoop down to their level. Rise above, focus on now – and improving at this very moment. I believe in you. Be the awesome version of yourself.