What was your biggest fear as a child? Do you still have it today? If it went away, when did your feelings changes?
When I was a little girl, I loved the idea of going swimming at the pool or going to the beach. For some reason, I vividly remember my 1st swim lessons. The excitement of picking a colorful new swim suit and gelly sandals. And the feeling of entering a new realm as I could smell the chlorine before I even walked on the pool deck. I still remember that my 1st swim teacher was a guy and I did not feel comfortable with that. I would have felt more comfortable with a girl instructor. I also had separation anxiety as a child and did not want to leave my mom. In addition, at the end of class when I finally dipped my toes into the water one of the kids was rowdy and splashed me. I hardly remember that incident anymore, but I do remember that I was afraid of the water.
My mom continued to bring me and encourage me, but every lesson was a struggle to get me into the water. My second swim instructor was Sarah and I remember feeling a little more comfortable with her. We worked on glides in her class. I continued classes and made some progress with private lessons, but was still afraid.
My parent’s did not give up and I continued to attend swim lessons even though I must have repeated the “guppy” level at least a half a dozen times before moving up to “minnow”. Then finally at the age of 9 I reached the top level which was “flying fish.” After my lesson my mom asked if I wanted to stay and observe the swim team practice. I said yes and both of us were surprised to see all 6 lanes full of swimmers. Swimming laps systematically for the entire hour. It was a little intimidating, but when my mom asked if I was interested in trying out I said, “SURE!” Years later she said that she was surprised that I wanted to join the swim team.
When I was 7, I gave up Ballet because my parents said it would be good for me to learn a form of self-defense, so I started practicing Aikido. At this point, swim practices conflicted with my aikido schedule so I gave it up to be a swimmer.
I started out in the beginner Novice group and was always dead last in my lane. My dad said all the other girls around my age were in the advanced Senior group and strutted around like they were all that never giving me the time of day because they were better than I was. I remember crying at my 1st swim meet because I was scared and it was such a struggle for me to learn how to somersault so that I could flip turn. I even got private lessons to assist me with my flips. The key was that I never gave up.
By Fall a year later, I was the fastest girl in my 10 and under age group. This was discovered at a swim meet called “The Rainbow Classic.” I remember getting ready to head up to the block for my 100 yd breaststroke race and asking my coach Chris, “Do I have to go fast?” He said, “that would be nice.” All of a sudden everyone wanted to be my friend. Even the parents were nice to me. Isn’t it funny how things change and people treat you differently when you succeed?
As a child I was afraid of the water and drowning. With the help of my parents, teachers, and swim coaches, I was able to face and overcome that fear. I went on to teach swim lessons at the same health club that I first took lessons at years ago. And for the past few years, I have coached swim teams and all levels of swimmers from Developmental to Elite. My greatest fear as a child transformed into one of my greatest passions.
If something scares you. Don’t run and hide.
“FACE YOUR FEAR THEN WATCH IT DISAPPEAR.”
Happy Friday Everyone and Happy NaBloPoMo!!! Thanks for stopping by!!!
Love,Joy, and Blessings,