Saturday, September 03, 2011
Had my second grown-up swimming lesson tonight, and guess what!! I can let go of the side of the tank in 17 foot water, not paddle, and simultaneously not drown!! Our instructor, Marianne, tonight insisted that we are both too afraid of the water, and demonstrated that if she jumped into the pool and didn't move, she would pop back up to the surface of the pool naturally--then she got us to try it. Several times. Wow. And with that, she began to convince me that I am paddling too hard, and that it is self defeating. For the first time in my life, I feel as if I can be in deep water and not panic. For the first time in my life I have confidence that if I, say, fell out of a boat at Lake Ozark (local touristy spot with a GREAT BIG lake) I might have a chance of surviving until help could arrive. I can't tell you how freeing that feels. And, while I have always enjoyed splashing in the water, I am beginning to get the hang of some of the techniques, and am really enjoying the sensation of actually swimming. I am so proud and happy I could plotz!!
In the meantime, I have also gone to the gym where I got a trial membership every evening this week (Tues, Wed, Thurs, then tonight as well) in spite of having other things going on that forced this appointment with myself to be put off until between 8 and 9:30 PM for three of these days. I am feeling really good about myself for sticking to it. I am the slowest, least athletic person there most of the time, but I am discovering that NOBODY CARES. Also a feeling of freedom I have never had before. I was always the one nobody wanted on their team in junior high and high school, always the last one picked, and when I have been in situations where I was trying something out that the local athletes considered "easy", I have felt that they were sneering at me and putting me down for not just knowing how to do --whatever it was. Between Marianne, the very nice trainers at this gym, and the fact that nobody who is exercising at the gym seems aware I am there, let alone that I am going much slower than they are, I am beginning to enjoy this experience. That is another first, something I never dreamed I would hear myself say. And I just plain feel stronger.
Since it has only been a week that I have been doing all of this exercise, I suspect that is more psychological than physical, but I am sitting here feeling very teary-eyed as I write this. I feel like I have broken through a barrier that has been there my entire life, and there is a whole new world waiting for me on the other side. Would you just look at what I can do with a little encouragement and instruction, and a lot of Will power!!
And now on to the next challenge: My daughter and I are going to visit my mother over the Labor Day weekend, where she will feed us really strange combinations of food, all of it greasy and high carb, and where she will expect us to sit with her and play cards all day. I did train her when I was there a couple times ago that I need to go for a walk each day to keep from getting so stiff I can't move at all (arthritis rears its ugly head when I sit at the table holding cards for too long). Wish me luck. I'm going to take along a notebook to track in, since I will be off-line for the duration, and am going to try to hold it down to reasonable portions, although adequate fruit and vegies are not likely to be on the agenda.