Thursday, August 4, 2011

Float, float on, float on, float on...

Okay here we are. A little more than a year ago, I was terrified of the water.  I could not take the water any higher than about my shoulders, and that was pushing it.  Forget my feet not being able to touch the bottom of the pool!  Finally at 41, after over 32 years of paralyzing fear of the water I signed up for swim lessons. I did OK, felt comfortable enough to put my head under water and use the kick board.  It was a major accomplishment.  I finished up and felt satisfied that I had made progress. But I couldn't give up the kick board.

So, fast forward to May of this year.  We were on vacation and we went to the pool every night.  It was so fun! The mister would hold my hands while I floated, I would put my head under the water...things I NEVER would have done before, except when I went to the Caribbean...  and that was because I could stand, bend over and breathe with the snorkel mask!  What really did it for me was watching our friends have so much fun swimming.  We started lessons at the same time, but in different classes.  I remember watching them while I would be in the aqua aerobic class and thinking "wow, they are SO brave! They're swimming"!!  It just seemed so..magical.  I remember thinking that I survived cancer and a transplant...surely I could conquer this water fear...yet I still just didn't trust that water.

So fast forward to a few weeks ago. I signed up for lessons again. I feel much more comfortable.  The first few classes I just  couldn't let go of the kick board.  Then I remembered what my friend Al told me.  She said she had to learn to relax her whole body, let go of the tension and just let the water hold her up.  It seemed so foreign at the time...I just couldn't trust that the water was going to hold me up! Guess what?  It does!  It's true! It worked!  I relaxed, and what do you know.  I floated.  I relaxed, and I was able to stroke, I relaxed and added the kicks.  I finally was swimming! With absolutely NO FEAR.  I finally trusted the water and let it do what it does. I still have a lot to learn but I look forward to the challenges.

This experience has been very cathartic for me, and what I realized is that it really a metaphor for my life outside the pool.  I get myself very tense, won't let go of things (worry) and find it hard to 'float'.  I forget that I can 'float' when I just trust God , when I just relax, let go and recognize that I can't control everything on my own, that God has my back and will always hold me up, even give me a kick board to hold to if I need it!   Even when I get water in my nose, even when I swallow water, even when I started to tense up and sink.  So, relax, lighten up and let yourself FLOAT!