Thursday, October 04, 2012
Yesterday, I met with my trainer at the pool. He had agreed to work with me on overcoming my fear of water. It was a true test of my trust and faith in him. We started slowly, just sitting on the pool steps and talking. We slowly worked our way down the steps and deeper and deeper into the water. It felt a little tough to breathe but I was doing alright.
He worked with me to lower my face into the water while holding my nose then again without holding my nose. I would try each thing that he suggested and then he would give me a minute or two to catch my breath and relax then we'd try something new. Things were going well until the gym owner came in and starting yelling at my trainer that the gym doesn't allow "outside trainers". He explained that I had asked permission the day before and been told that it was alright because he was there as my support person rather than as a trainer. He wasn't teaching me to swim - he was just getting me comfortable enough to be in water so that someday I could take swim lessons with her. She didn't care AT ALL. She just kept telling him that they don't allow outside trainers in the gym.
My stress level was rapidly rising during their conversation to the point that I had to get out of the water. By the time I reached the pool deck, I was in full panic mode. I sat sobbing on the deck for probably a good 5 minutes. Then something interesting happened...I thought of how THINKING about this was actually harder than DOING it. I thought of how angry I was at the gym owner for interrupting my time in the pool to yell at the trainer (Really? It couldn't wait until I was done? She knows about my fear of the water). I thought of giving up and never trying again. I thought of what I was going to say to everyone who has supported me during this.
Well, my anger finally won out and I asked my trainer if he would be willing to get back into the water with me (poor guy had sat with me during the entire panic attack). He agreed and we started again. I did most of the things he asked me to do. Some of his tricks worked well and some didn't but I was able to accomplish so much more than I thought I would. He was very proud of me and a little surprised as well. We have so much more to do (including finding a new pool to use) but we made a great start.