As much as I wanted to, I was never the sporty girl. The only time I was called a varsity was when I represented the school for chess in an inter-school sports competition way back elementary years. But the more I count the years that pass me by, the more I feel the need to become acquainted with a sport or two.
Testing the waters
My first love is biking. I’ve learned it when I was in highschool after a friend painstakingly taught me something I should already know by then. During summer vacation that same year, I enrolled in Taekwondo only to be disheartened after being cheated in a tournament. In college, I’ve tried volleyball and bowling for a few times but I gave up on them early on. Then, I’ve tried table tennis but, still, to no avail. Happily, I’ve started jogging and aerobics. So far, they have been very kind to me and we seem to like each other a lot. Then two weeks ago, my churchmates and I went for a badminton match which proved itself to be a promising endeavor. I’ve never hit a shuttlecock five consecutive times before. Haha!
Amidst my short-term love affair with various sports, water has always been the fear I’ve been dying to overcome. I don’t know what happened but when I was a kid, I used to brave those high, almost-vertical waterslides. My courage must have drowned in the pile of books and papers I played with at school. And since swimming is one of the most popular getaway and recreational activities, not to mention a survival skill, I know I had to face it one day. And so once and for all, I’ve enrolled in a ten-hour basic swimming lessons.
Taking the plunge
Every session started with warm-up exercises, heading straight to the shower and then jumping off the pool. Submerging in the cool water seems to wash out all the problems a person might have at that moment. On the first day, we had floating. I like freestyle swimming but I have this special thing for back floating. It allows you to lie in the water and just bask in amazement while looking up the sky. Just don’t fall asleep.
My teacher is wonderful. She doesn’t try to impress and sound superior. Her goal is to help her student learn even if it meant not sticking to her lesson plan. The three things she had to keep reminding me of are: (1) to relax; (2) to concentrate; and (3) not to be conscious. For the whole course, we had the usual breathing and kicking exercises, then the glide and arm pulling, and then finally, diving and threading, with many laughs in between, of course.
Ten hours is short. But every hour of that swimming course has been productive and rewarding. If I may, I think swimming is a lot like life. For one, before you can swim, you have to be okay to sink. You must be ready to fail and to risk everything even drowning knowing that if you don’t try, you wouldn’t know what might have been if you did. And if you don’t push yourself hard enough and if you give up when you almost run out of air, you wouldn’t get to the finish line.
No, I still can’t swim well. But learning how to swim is something I’d never regret doing. The proud look and words of encouragement from my teacher are priceless. The renewed energy, uplifted mood and sense of fulfillment prove that taking the plunge is more than worth it. And even though I should have done this years ago, it is really never too late to learn something new.~