I had my first swim lesson today!
I learned a lot of things. Including that most people don’t bring their giant beach towels to the gym pool. (It’s cozy and fluffy. It might keep coming with me.)
It was so exciting to walk into a place where I felt nervous and uncomfortable, and know that soon I’ll feel right at home. That’s one of the gifts that comes with adulthood, isn’t it? We know we’ll acclimate, adjust, learn and be socialized into new settings.
I remember feeling so nervous the first time I showed up at a 5k, or to spin class; two places where I now feel completely comfortable. Now I feel nervous at the gym going into the pool.
Will I find the pool entrance from the locker room? Ok, obviously I’ll find it, but how long will I wander around looking for it making other women feel awkward because I’m gazing around while they’re changing? Where do I shower before getting into the pool? Is it super weird or just sort of weird that I don’t own a one piece because I have a long torso and don’t like them? How exactly do I ask someone if I can share their lane, and is it better to just wait? Am I going to be FREEZING COLD the entire time I’m in the pool?
But underneath all that nervousness is the knowledge that all these questions will get answered, my comfort level will build, and soon I’ll wander through the locker room on auto-pilot… and I’ll even have remembered to bring face-wash and moisturizer in the bag with my shower shoes.
It’s so easy to think when you go somewhere new or try something you’re not good at that the reason it’s uncomfortable is that you don’t belong. It’s tempting to think that maybe this isn’t your scene, it’s not the place for you, this isn’t your thing. But learning to hold out until your accustomed to the social setting and nuances makes all the difference. THEN you can decide if you like this activity or gym or fitness class or whatever it is.
I thought I wasn’t a runner. I couldn’t breathe when I ran, it was boring, it was hard, it wasn’t my thing.
I thought I was probably crazy buying spin shoes a week after my first spin class, because I probably wouldn’t stick with it.
Yes, I experienced some nervous excitement going to my first swim lesson. But I knew I’d figure things out. That things will get easier. That it’s fine that I can’t get the hang of turning my head to the side to breathe yet. This is the fun phase; the place where the most transformation takes place. I will be a different swimmer in a month, and unrecognizable in the water in two months. I know this, I trust in this, because I’ve transformed before.
I’m so excited to be working on this new life skill. I love the water. I love the ocean, and paddle-boarding, and sailboats and snorkeling. I would love to be a strong swimmer… and here’s my chance, with the Tri for a Cure as my motivation.
So thank you, running… for making me believe I can become a swimmer.