Let me tell you a little bit from my side of this story.
I confess I am not the best person to talk about doing new things. My family and friends tease me about how much I resist change. One might even say I am “a stick in the mud.” I like things to stay the same. The same is comfortable and cozy.
But, the same is just that…the same.
I know that very well. It dwells there in my mind all the time and yet I resist with all my might.
Recently, I have been growing bored in my workouts. Running and weight lifting just haven’t been holding my interest. I can’t really explain why except maybe I just need a change. But, what? What exactly could I do to keep up the level of movement that I so desperately desire? I live in a big city now and of course, that means tons of options. I have looked and considered and come to find out that what I needed the most has been right there in front of me.
Guess what my local gym has? An indoor lap pool.
I do know how to swim. I can stay afloat in the water and not drown. I took swimming lessons as a kid but I never progressed to learning the most recognized strokes. For that reason I have always lacked confidence in swimming. Combine that with a 20+ year history of avoiding swimsuits due to my poor body image and you have an anxiety-laden activity.
Here’s the funny thing. Over the last few months I have been known to stare at the pool as I was walking up to the weight room. Something in me pulled me towards that pool. I was enticed and yet repelled.
Being serious about swimming meant facing a whole lot of demons and doing something that scares the bits out of me.
Fast forward and I am happy to say that I am in that pool several times a week complete with a nice swimsuit, swim cap, and goggles. I am slowly but surely facing those demons and doing what scares me.
What about you? When WAS the last time you did something that scares you? Has it been awhile?
Well, here are three reasons to do what absolutely scares you in case you need a little push.
Learning to swim properly has been a big ‘ole slice of humble pie served up warm and a la mode. I have had to go all the way back to the start. I am spending all my swimming workouts doing various drills just so I can relearn how to be comfortable in the water again, how to breathe properly, and how to glide through the water without sinking like an anvil. It is tough because there are days that I get so bored doing these drills over and over again. I look one lane over at the kid half my age or some other adult gliding seamlessly through the water and doing flip turns over and over again all the while I am in my lane focusing on floating on my back, not sinking or inhaling water. Often I get frustrated because I so want to be that fish-like, flip-turning swimmer. I want the confidence in the water that I have in the weight room or the road. But, I know that I can’t get there by skipping crucial steps. Did I walk into the weight room and dead-lift 225 for reps my first day? HA HA! Not even close. On my first day I was holding onto my husband’s arm as we slowly made our way from one machine to the next. I was scared then too. And then slowly over time, and on a constant diet of humble pie, I WAS able to walk in there like a boss and dead-lift 225 for reps. It took being willing to admit that I really don’t know anything about this stuff. It meant being coachable and taking it one step at a time.
Being humble means admitting that you need help.
Being humble means saying, “Hey! I know nothing but I want to learn. Could you help me?”
Being humble means being willing to be molded in the fire and to come out the other end stronger.
I am still working on those drills several times a week. I have a goal in mind of doing an open water swim. I don’t know how long it will take. I will do these drills for however long I have to to build the foundation I need. It will happen. I just have to be humble and patient.
2. Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone
Quite honestly, staying in your comfort zone is rather boring. Don’t you think so too?
But your comfort zone is comfy and cozy. It is safe and cloistered. The sad thing is that personal development does not happen in the comfort zone. It can’t. Like I said above you have to be humble enough to admit you need to molded into something new but for that happen you have to actually go to the fire or wheel for that molding to occur. You have to admit your need for help and then step out of your comfort zone to make that happen.
I will be honest and say that swimming scares me. I am not so much scared of the water but I am scared of doing something that requires so much humility. And then throw in the crazy notion of swimming in a big body of water where I can’t touch the bottom. It scares me. But, I KNOW I will be a completely different person when I finally achieve that goal. I will have been humble and been willing to be forged that fire. It will be awesome.
3. Growth, Empowerment, and Confidence
WOW! Think about how you will feel when you have achieved that thing that scared you for so long. Take a moment and think about it nice and long.
When I think about how I will feel when I have swam well in that pool and ultimately, in that open water I see myself feeling ten feet tall and bulletproof. I will stand tall. I will be confident and empowered. I did what I thought was impossible. Those demons did not hold me back. I stared them in the face and I got ‘er done.
You achieved something awesome! Now take that growth, empowerment, and confidence to do something even bigger. Don’t waste all the good that comes from facing a fear and coming out on the other end. Seriously, we can change lives when we don’t squander all that goodness.
You’ve heard about my journey to learn how to swim. Now, I want to hear about what YOU are going to do that scares you now. SOUND OFF in the comments. 🙂