Monday, October 24, 2011

Sink or Swim

I've been putting off this post for a while because this subject is embarrassing for me. I can't swim. Now when I say I can't swim, I don't mean that I can't swim well. I mean I cannot swim at all. A lot of people get confused on this point. Let me make myself clear. I can't doggy paddle. I can't even float. People give me a weird look when I tell them that. But it's true.

Most people learn to swim when they're young. I've stories from people who brag that they were thrown into a pool by a relative when they were a kid and swimming just came naturally. Well, I was thrown into a pool when I was a kid too. My uncle threw me into the deep end when I was eight years old. I did not instinctively learn to swim. I thrashed for a bit, took in some water and sank to the bottom of the pool. The only instinct I had was to crawl across the pool floor until I reached a level where I could stand up. I was probably underwater for less than a minute, but it felt like an eternity. After that day, I was absolutely terrified of the water. I didn't get back into a pool for nearly ten years and by that point I was afraid to do anything other than just stand in 5 feet of water. Many people have tried to teach me, but I just tense up.

For a long time I didn't regret not learning how to swim. Neither my mother or my sisters learned how to swim. We never had a pool growing up. Trips to the beach were just to play around on the sand and play chicken with the waves. A couple of years ago, we went to the Bahamas and other than walking in up to my waist in the water, I spent the rest of the trip lounging around and sight seeing. Now that I'm going to Hawaii in about six months, however, I'm starting to regret not learning how to swim. Sure, I don't need to learn. I can wade in up to my waist and wear a life vest when we go snorkeling. But, out of nowhere, I want to learn now. I want to be able to swim with my husband on our honeymoon. I'm really freaking scared, but I figure Hawaii is probably the best motivation I'll ever get. So, for the next few months in addition to planning a wedding, I will be learning how to swim. Here goes nothing!

Does anyone else have any phobias? Aquatic or otherwise?

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