Why I never learned how to swim

(Why is it that I can’t be left alone to enjoy a hot bath without small interruptions, being considered missing or questioned as to why I haven’t taken said bath earlier? Oh… Wait, that’s a different blog post.)

As part of a small gift to myself over the weekend, and learning something about pacing, I decided to do this just for me and take a long bath.
I don’t really take baths. I shower. Every night. Always. Except for maybe once or twice a year when I long for a bath. The one before Friday was in 2010. Maybe I enjoy them more because of this.

Anyway. As I lay in my bath tub filled with hot water, mixed with homemade bath salts, bubble bath and bath oil combination relaxing my sore muscles… My whole body was relaxed. Hands floating near the surface, feet stretched out doing the same, breathing sinking me further into the warm water… and then I noticed my neck being uncooperative.
Of course this nearly ruined it for me as it got me into over-thinking-mode. I became aware of my hands floating near the water’s surface and compared them to how movies capture drowned people. Well, that was the point I completely snapped out of relaxation.

I remained there, thoughts rushing through my mind one by one, then much more all at the same time, until this one thought caught my attention “Maybe I never learned how to swim because I’m afraid of getting my head wet. And drowning. But more because of getting water in my eyes, nose, ears, hair…”

The thing is, I love water. I love spending a whole lot of time in the shower. If I didn’t get sun burnt so easily but all pretty and tan, I’d go to open-air swimming pools more often when they’re open during summer. Or lakes near my city. I’d actually own a bathing suit I haven’t outgrown for over 15 years.
But the other thing is, I hate getting my hair wet. I hate getting water in my eyes, nose and ears.

Then there’s the whole issue of someone having to teach me how to swim. In water. Deep water. (Trust issues?) And with other people around.

It’s funny. No, it’s actually silly. I know. But there you have it. In a moment of (mostly) zoning out, I received my answer.
As long as I had a diver’s suit on (complete with hood, snorkel, mask) I could probably learn how to swim.

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10 Comments to “Why I never learned how to swim”

  1. I feel sad to hear you love being in water so much but you’re not able to go swimming. The line “In a moment of (mostly) zoning out, I received my answer” really jumped out from your post. It always helps to know the source of whatever’s holding us back, so this must have been a relief. Or at least an epiphany. I can relate to your fear of getting your head wet. I have a sensory resistance about having raw food on my hands that I have to deal with every time I cook. (I’ve never admitted that to anyone but Brian because I feared it sounded so anal.)

    • Yes, it always helps to know what exactly it is that’s holding us back, and it has been relieving to realize this about swimming.
      And oh my, Milli, I can totally relate to your sensory resistance towards having raw food on your hands. I love love love to cook, but handling raw meat and cookie batter that needs my hands instead of a spoon or mixer… that’s a bit tough to get through for me as well!

  2. I learned how to swim when I was in my late 20’s when I needed a phys ed class in college. I decided to challenge myself and take swimming. I still hate deep water, but I’m much better about being in the water.

  3. I’ve had an unfair advantage for most of my life: I’m buoyant. Even in a t-shirt, if I take a deep breath, I will float. I never understood why people freaked out in movies when they fell in water.

  4. How interesting. I have a natural fear of water, so that’s my reason and I’m sticking to it ;)

  5. Swimming scares me, too.

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