While I am busy enjoying vacation with my family, I asked a few fabulous ladies to guest post for me. Hopefully you enjoy reading them as much as I do. Alissa, who blogs at A Journey to Thin is quite an inspiring girl! She’s lost 75+ pounds, and even though she has struggles during her journey, she ALWAYS gets back up and back out there, working hard. And I love that.
I’m so proud of my hubby. He had a terrible fear of water and while he would enjoy going to the pool with me, he would never put his head under the water. As we watched others jumping into the pool, swimming around, playing games in the water, and just having fun, I could tell that he would love to be able to do that too.
He grew up not knowing how to swim. As a farm kid, he spent more time bailing hay, pulling weeds and tending to cattle than he did going to the local swimming pool. Going to the pool meant a long ride into town and they just didn’t have time for that kind of thing as busy farmers. So he had fun at home on the farm, never really getting a chance to go swimming.
I was the city girl who spent her summers lounging at the pool with friends. From the time I was in 7th grade, I spent most of my summer days at the pool chasing boys and doing the silly things that most teenagers do. I loved the water. I went on vacations to the ocean with my family and fell in love with the ocean. We visited local beaches and water parks and those were some of the best moments of my childhood.
I took swimming lessons when I was around six years old, but got sick during the last few weeks of lessons and never learned the correct swimming form. So I could handle myself in water, pretend like I was swimming, but wasn’t very efficient at it. One of my goals is to complete a triathlon. I can run and I can bike but the only thing keeping me back was the fact that I wasn’t a strong swimmer.
When hubby and I went on a cruise this past January, I have to admit I was slightly worried about the fact that hubby can’t swim. And you know what we saw on TV while waiting for our flight to Miami to board our ship? We saw the breaking news of the cruise ship that sank off of the coast of Italy. Fears filled our minds. While unlikely, that could happen to us. And we wouldn’t be able to save ourselves! While we weren’t planning on going scuba diving, we were still boarding a great big ship in the middle of the vast ocean. That was the moment that I decided that if we wanted to travel by ship or do any of the fun activities involving water, that hubby needed to learn how to swim and I needed to learn how to swim better.
About a month ago, we signed up for semi-private lessons at the YMCA. During the first lesson, hubby was scared to even put his head in the water. Being afraid of doing something and forcing yourself to do it anyways takes courage.
Each week, he progresses more and more. At first he learned how to float, and just recently started to swim the breast stroke. He has struggled and become frustrated with himself. Imagine never learning to swim as a child and having to face those fearful things as an adult, when you don’t have that sense of fearlessness that is innate in a child. But he hasn’t given up. And it’s working. I’m so proud of him. Proud of his strength and proud of his determination.
He is having so much fun in the water. He loves it. He would have missed out on it if he hadn’t been willing to at least try. Imagine all of the things that we will be able to do when he becomes a stronger swimmer. No more avoiding scuba diving on our next trip to the Bahamas. We can go tubing down the river like everyone talks about. We can visit water parks. Maybe even go surfing!
The fact is, that when you allow yourself to break out of your comfort zone, you never know what you might discover about yourself. After learning the proper swimming techniques, I have come to love swimming for exercise. You open up doors to possibilities when you believe in yourself and take risks.
My philosophy in life is that if I am afraid to do something, I should probably do it, because those things that we are most afraid of are probably the most worthwhile. I was scared to get married, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I was afraid to go to that interview, and I’m working a job I love.
There’s a difference between being afraid of something because it’s not physically safe for you and being afraid of something because of simple fears and self-doubt. I would never encourage someone to try something unsafe, but I do encourage you to take a leap, take a risk and enjoy life to the fullest!
I challenge you to find one thing this summer that you would love to do, but are afraid of doing, and DO IT. This summer, I crawled into a dark cave (even though I’m slightly claustrophobic), climbed up a tall ledge overlooking a beautiful forest (even though I’m afraid of heights), and took a job that requires me to be extroverted (even though I’m afraid of putting myself out there). But I haven’t regretted doing any of these things, I’m just thankful I had the opportunity to make the memories.