Do you get scared sometimes? About silly things, useless things, things you've done before? It's an irrational fear isn't it? Well, I met my irrational fear head on today . . . and it was a fear I didn't even realised I had!
What was I scared of?
Yep, you read that right. No need to rub your eyes and do a double take. I, a former Paralympic Swimming Medallist was holding onto an irrational fear of doing what I used to do the best. And there's the clue peeps - what I used to do the best.
Let me describe the moment I slipped into the water this morning - 'sitting on the edge of the pool, my left leg swishing through the water, I slowly slipped in . . . The water enveloped my body, even my head, and for a moment as I sunk to the bottom an irrational fear took over. Can I still swim? What about floating, will I still float? Can I still do tumble turns? Or dive? What if, after ten years of no swimming I have completely forgotten how to be a competent, good swimmer?????'
There's that FEAR.
Did I let that fear, those doubts, that crazy thought train take me out of the water, back into my jeans and jumper and out of the pool complex?
Instead I let myself remember the joy I had for swimming, the fun, and the passion. AND I accepted that I wasn't going to be the swimmer I was ten years ago!!! I am not an elite athlete now and I shouldn't put the expectation on myself that I can still swim like I used to.
So I took that remembered joy and I swam. This morning I swam; I swam front crawl and back stroke, I swam butterfly . . . for about two seconds! I kicked and splashed and had a WHALE of a time (pun intended). My main point is I had fun.
Fear will often take your joy and fun, it will take your will and drive, it will take your self belief and turn it upside down and inside out. Don't let the fear of failure, the fear of embarrassment or the fear of your abilities prevent you from being strong and joyful in "being" again. For me, this morning wasn't about going fast or strong, it wasn't about beating the man in the lane next to me, or being the centre of attention, it was about having fun and remembering how it is to "be" a swimmer.
So trust yourself, trust your ability, even if it's a new activity or an old activity you are revisiting. AND above all, remember to always be joyful, to have fun, to "be" in the moment, to LIVE.
(image courtesy of Angela Lumsden)
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright