Is that me? Is that John Sennett? Am I really in water?
I shocked myself. I was crying a few hours beforehand knowing it was a big day, yet I went for it. I didn’t want to hold back.
I was nervous. I can’t deny that. I was scared. I’ve never been a fan of water. My near drowning experience as a child has lived with me for 21 years. This was my time. This was it.
Am I really about to do this?
Turning up for my first lesson with Wessex Swim School, the nerves were firing from all angles, but something happened…
I didn’t feel scared. I felt comfortable. The 1-2-1 aspect of my learning helped. I needed it. I needed focus to be on me. I needed the support. I might have gotten in the water shortly after speaking to Debbie (my instructor) about my story, but I knew that one big step would be followed up by small steps.
Using floats wasn’t an issue. They helped. They REALLY helped. Step 1 was for me to be in the pool. That was over in the first few minutes. Step 2 was figuring out how to adjust my goggles (plenty of giggles, believe me!), and Step 3 was for movements in the pool.
Are floats not for kids? Why am I now learning after 21 years? Shouldn’t I have gotten over my fear as a child? Nothing truly leaves you, and I haven’t felt ready until now. I feel ready to do what I’ve always wanted to do. I don’t want to hold back. I don’t want to let experiences slip through my fingers.
Teaming up with Wessex Swim School has already awoken a hungry individual wanting to use his fear to influence further actions; in himself and beyond. Whether I take small or large steps, I’ll get there. I’ll get to the point where I know I can do a challenge. Is this the end goal? Is the challenge the REAL reason for my learning?
Doing small bunny hops; well large ones, as I’m 6’1 was quite hilarious, knowing I stupidly done a gym session before the swim. The bunny hops were helping me to feel comfortable with my feet off the ground. After a few, my legs gradually stayed up. Gradually I felt more comfortable and I was sort of floating.
Floating has always been an issue for me. I lack confidence. I lack confidence with the unknown. I have a fear that once I let go, I’m going under. I don’t want to go under. I don’t want to remember what happened to me as a kid.
I want to be me. I want to be John Sennett. I’m not a kid no more. I believe in myself. The more I’m in water, the more my confidence will grow.
As the lesson was starting to flow (again, no pun intended), I started to float. Yep! Not independently, but I was floating. My Peter Crouch style legs were trying to kick, and once my legs reached the top, at times they stayed there. Even though they didn’t stay up, that’s still progress. I was still moving. My legs were moving. I was in water.
I will always refer back to that, as I didn’t know if I would get in the water. I didn’t know if anything was going to happen.
I couldn’t walk away from the lesson without getting in. I couldn’t turn up not being me. I know I’m a strong person mentally and physically, and it was me that reached out to Wessex Swim School. It was me that decided it was time to do this.
In the weeks and months to come, I’ll be sharing my progress on here, and how I plan to not only conquer my fear, but help others to do so as well.
In the meantime, a massive shout-out to Wessex Swim School for helping me with this part of my journey.
*Wessex Swim School have kindly donated free swimming lessons in exchange for blog posts on my progress