Oddly, most circumstances of people not knowing how to swim are generational. If your parents don't know something, how can they teach you? I was different though. My mother swims so effortlessly; taught by my grandma, she and her four brothers spent time at the community pool learning how to navigate the waters. Nice story, right? Well ... my mom dropped the ball, or should I say buoy, when it came to relaying that invaluable skill to me. She even signed me up for professional lessons, but I still couldn't get right. I needed more time. And since more time and individual attention meant more money - I was signed up for a class I'd have more success in: Karate. So, while my rising block and side kick were superb (#orangebeltswag), my backstroke was nonexistent.
From that time, I still longed to learn how to swim. Yet, as I got older and honestly ... bigger - the appeal to act on it, dwindled away. Yep, I used my overweight body as an excuse not to go to the pool, or beach with friends ... when in reality, it was also greatly due to the fact that the only thing I could do in the water was wade and splash people who knew what they were doing.
So, today - still a swimming novice - I'm miles away from my once disabling fear of the water. I didn't care that I was heavier (still am at my pool) than most of the svelte lady swimmers, or older than the average swim lesson student - I finally stopped blaming my mom and took the reigns of my dolphin-like potential. Which is why stories like Oprah, a billionaire who could pay someone to swim FOR HER - learning how to swim, put a smile on my face. She shares:
"[I] started out the week taking swimming lessons. Moving beyond my amateur doggy paddle. Learned the breast stroke today.Hey Oprah, that was so moving! How 'bout since we're both newbies at this swim thing - we hang out at the pool, sometime? I can chill at your house and we can talk about our adventures and stuff? No? That's cool.
Over a year ago I pulled a picture from O Mag of a woman gliding through water. It was such a striking image of freedom and possibility, I put it on my vision board (which I've still not completed). Today when I finished my swimming lesson I passed the vision board lying on the table where it's been since 2009. I had an "aha" moment. I had just become that woman, gliding through the water!
This I've known forever is the great metaphor of life. Move with the flow. Don't fight the current. Resist nothing. Let life carry you. Don't try to carry it. Sometimes we just have to be reminded. A swimming lesson did it for me." Source
Not only is swimming an awesome workout; movement inhibition at its finest, it is also a great life and survival tool to have. If Oprah can learn in her 50s and I, in my mid-20s ... it's never too late!