So why is it that we still need to learn swimming? Maybe not; all we need to learn is to un-learn the fear of drowning.
Swimming, for me, meant a whole lot of Eureka moments:
1. Don’t worry, nobody is looking: Swimsuit phobia peters away before water-phobia. And besides, everybody is in their own world of laps-bubbling-stamina-ear shaking. You look great. Now jump in.
2. Don’t you dare push me in! : The day I couldn’t jump in; the day I discovered that fear can be paralyzing. My toes curled onto the parapet in silent imploration. I was fine in the present on terra firma. I did not mind the sure future when I would be already in the water. All I feared was the transition.
I think we fear the transition phase of anything more than the actual change. (Much like when I love Saturday night and tolerate Monday morn; but I detest Sunday evenings) . P.S: I finally did not jump. Not on my own. I literally needed a push in the right direction at the right time.
3. Chemistry in H20! : Before I learnt the art (or science) of swimming, tension escalated as I neared the swimming pool; where I got acute attacks of flight-or-fight (adrenaline spurts); where I searched for the flimsiest excuse to bunk class. Once I crossed the hurdle, the swimming pool became the place where tension melted (serotonin spurts), where the ripple of poolwater became an oasis of peace.
4. Hurrah! Its a (relatively) safe world. A bevy of instructors keeping vigil. Ready, trained and employed for my survival, if I struggle.
Contrast with the outside world: If I have a road accident, what is my chance of survival? Most onlookers will look the other way; others will grab the opportunity to whisk away my credit card, mobile and purse while I lie bleeding.
5. Etiquettes: When 2 people come face-to-face in the same pool lane; we were actually taught to slow down and give way. Now imagine a driving school teaching that; instead of the ‘Might is Right’ swagger on-road!
6. Keep your mouth shut: If you open your mouth at the wrong moment (as in Life on terra firma), you will invariably tumble into deep waters. Along with a mouthful of salt-water. (Don’t ask for the source of salty water in a swimming pool. Water, water everywhere; and not a drop worth drinking.)
7. No comparisons, please! : There will be the Pisceans who will glide away on day 1 and there will be Now-this-is-why-I-was-not-born-a-fish who splutter and gasp beyond day 21. Somewhere in between lie you; snug within the two-standard deviation of Gaussian curve.
8. It’s a beautiful world: Duck down underwater; especially at twilight, when the pool lights flood in and then look skyward. It seems like a blessing. Ditto for when you float lazily and it drizzles gently on your upturned face.
You sweated, your calories evaporated and you still never noticed! Never have I felt as ravenously hungry and as well-toned as post a swim.
My Wishlist: I wish someone invents a] earphones that work underwater- that would be having the best of both worlds. b] Goggles that don’t film over; or leave baggy pouches under your eyes. d] Swimsuits with zips. Wet suits simply refuse to budge off the body. e] SPF sunscreen that actually prevents tanning. No matter what you do, you will have a spectacular zebra crossing over you.
What are your views on WaterWorld?