So Friday night was swimming night, I swear the days are just zooming past at the moment. Who would be getting to the deep end this week? Third lesson, third instructor. Not so great for continuity, we all felt it on Friday night. Our official instructor is pregnant, and was poorly the week before last, and although in the centre, she wasn’t teaching us on Friday night. I did feel that this new instructor had been called in at the last moment, wasn’t prepared and was in a rush. Not a great start to helping us getting to the deep end.
He didn’t really seem interested in exactly where we all were. We’re all at slightly different levels, we all have slightly different concerns. The other two instructors had been great with all of us, really patient, listening to our fears as well as our aims. It took about half the lesson for this guy to calm down and listen to us.
But anyway. Breaststroke I love it! Well, lets say, I can do it, and I can do it without a woggle for half the length of the pool. Front crawl, I don’t like so much, greater need to get your face in the water! But also, I have a total mental block. I can’t do front crawl without the woggle. How can I do one, but not the other? Who knows? This is me. Totally illogical old me.
So I decided to concentrate on what I feel comfortable with. Comfortable with? That’s quite amazing. Our instructor gave us all a challenge – how about getting to the deep end? Panic? I have never, ever been in the deep end of a swimming pool in my life. We could swim near to the edge so we had something to grab hold of. I wasn’t sure that was going to be enough for me. Miss P started us off. She was amazing, it was her fifth lesson ever, and she did it, one go, getting to the deep end. We’ve built up such a bond in the three weeks I’ve been going. It was lovely, everyone was applauding her. It was massive. One guy is actually a really good swimmer, but doesn’t like getting out of his depth. He got there in the end. Before I knew it, it was my turn. Getting to the end. Could I do this? I was shaking. Nerves and fear took over, I got just over half way, but as soon as my brain registered, you will be on tiptoes! Panic, and I grabbed frantically for the edge and the instructor. It was the furthest I’ve ever swam, but the fear was there, large, pounding, there.
Do you want to try a bit more? How deep is deep? Saying a number is meaningless to me, I need to see it physically. The instructors went further to the deep end, now I’m on my tiptoes. Ok, I’ll try, I started again, but it was no good, I was getting stressed and panic set in. He was great, and helped me to the side. I swam back, but still had to stop once.
I felt deflated, I know it’s mad, I’ve done more in three weeks than in the last 20 years, but my brain was taking over. Why don’t you try it with a woggle? Ok, let’s do that. Try and do it in one go. I tried so hard, getting to the deep end, trying to visualise Monkey sitting there waiting for me.
Well I got there. I got to the deep end for the first time in my life. I didn’t manage it in one straight go, I did have a woggle, but I got there.
I was tired, physically and emotionally. Getting to the deep end had taken it out of me. I went home feeling really deflated. I could only concentrate on what I hadn’t achieved, rather than being thrilled – getting to the deep end in any way, was a real biggie. I think I’m just worried that my head is taking over, fears and phobias are in control. I’m not sure how to beat those. But I’m sticking with this. I really want to get there. I’ve done it once with a woggle, it must be possible to do it again. Whether it takes me 20 years to get to the deep end without a woggle. Who knows. Let’s see what happens this Friday.
Getting to the deep end – a challenge. I have two more lessons before my 46th birthday. It would be so amazing if getting to the deep end could be my present to myself!