Out of my depth

If I tell you something, do you promise not to laugh? At least not to my face anyway? 

Tonight I took some of my church youth group to the annual denominational swimming gala. The kids get so excited. Little lady has competed for the last three years and even D entered a race this year, desperate as he was, to be like his sister. Between the group we brought home 14 medals. Little lady won 3 of those, including a bronze for the 11years and under race, competing against girls 4 years her senior 😀

But that’s not what’s keeping me awake tonight. I have so many thoughts going around in my head. The main one being the fact that I competed tonight. In a bid to cajole one of the other mums (a fantastic swimmer) to sign up for the adult race, I agreed to sign up myself!! Me, a non-swimmer, someone who avoids water as much as possible!

With all my ear problems I do not swim. I haven’t swum since school probably. If, and that’s a big if, I do go in the pool, my hair never gets wet. It’s actually easier to tell people that I can’t swim than going into my whole medical history and why I am afraid to get water in my ears. (Also why I don’t have my hair washed at the hair dressers but that’s another story!!)

So tonight, I was signed up for the adults’ race. Little lady’s face was beaming with pride. How could I back out? I jokingly (half??) told the lifeguards to be ready to rescue me, I told the time keeper in my lane to go get a sandwich. I had already written myself off before I had even got to the edge of the pool. All races start in the water and as I got in I started to panic. I wondered if I could actually remember how to swim! I had borrowed Little Lady’s goggles and putting them on I felt like a fake. I was fearful of letting her down. I knew I was going to finish last and that didn’t bother me, what did bother me was making a fool of myself. What if I made such a fuss and a big scene that I drowned myself during the race?? Not a good look for someone actually employed by the denomination is it?

The whistle blew and off I went. I was amazed by how clearly I could see with goggles on. Do you know I have never worn goggles to swim in my life! We didn’t have them as kids and as I said before, I don’t swim now. It was amazing to see everything underwater. It was so clear and calm.

 Well until I had to breathe anyway! Now, I have watched hours and hours of Little Lady’s swimming lessons. I have seen Olympic swimmers on the TV. Quite simply, you turn your head to the side, take a breath and put your face back in the water. Easy. Except the first time I tried it, I swallowed a mouthful of water. The second time I tried it, I didn’t get a full breath. It is not as easy as it looks! By the time I got to the end I was so desperate for air I thought I was going to pass out. 

But… I didn’t. Yes I came last. 4th out of 4 (one of which was a 14year old girl who just wanted a go!) but according to hubby I didn’t lose by much so that’s some consolation. Little Lady even said I “wasn’t bad” High praise indeed!

Tonight has surprised me in different ways. 

  1. That I had actually managed to convince myself I couldn’t swim
  2. Goggles make a world of difference to swimming
  3. I wasn’t *that* bad 
  4. How much I actually enjoyed swimming

Maybe I should pack my specially-made earplugs and Little Lady’s goggles and go for a swim by myself another day. I think I might like that.

1 thought on “Out of my depth

  1. Well done for doing that! I’m not a good swimmer either, barely able to do a length! My daughter always hated when I joined in the Mum’s race on sports day because I didn’t win…not that I cared!

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