Posted by Unknown |

Swimming it all in

Today has been a good day. An unexpected day, but a good one. I went to the beach today. And I swam. And now I'm amazed with myself. It's been a bit of a breakthrough really. Funny really. Swimming at the beach, and just normal swimming in general to a lesser extent, has always been a big deal. Generally I don't like to swim. And at the beach I detest the thought.

Since I was about 7 I have hated the beach. Well not most of it. Not the sand, or sitting on the beach, all walking on it. Don't mind them at all. But swimming, that's another question. I hated having to deal with waves ("Over or under?", "Jump or dive?") and I had this terrible fear of getting dumped. Then I grew up a bit more, and swimming was something I just didn't do. Walking around in just my boardies was self-conscious city for me. When I went to the beach at the beginning of the year, I had a mild time. I spent the whole time though thinking that everyone was looking at me, and they were all thinking "My gosh he's white, and hairy, look at that shoulder!". And so the beach, well, it just wasn't in me.

Anyway today I got a message from Sal asking me if I wanted to join a bunch of people at the beach. I think Matt was organising it. And me being the fear facing, opportunity taking person that I am, said I'd go. I thought "Here is an opportunity to hang out with a group of people I don't hang out with much, and to confront my issues with the beach". It sounded good in theory, but once I'd decided to go, suddenly everything seemed like a bad idea. I discussed with Mum learning to like the beach. This year would be year of the Beach or something like that. But learning to like something means you have to go through the bits you don't like first.

Anyway, I headed off feeling most uncomfortable. Every time I wear my swimmers I think to myself, "I hope I don't have to use these". But I knew that indulging my beach-phobia, would be harder in the end that doing the beach thing.

Anyway, we get to the beach, and it's time to swim. Arrgh. I pluck up my courage. "Yeah, let's go". I said something to Matt about confronting my demons and headed off into the deep blue.

But once I was there, it was good. I didn't have a problem with the waves. I forgot about all the people looking at me. I didn't worry too much about having no idea what one is actually meant to do while in the water. I made small talk with Byron. And it was all good. Generally pleasant. Not totally amazing. I'm not in blown away. But it felt good to be there, and not worrying. I wasn't worried about waves, and I wasn't worried about other people. I was generally content.

When I got out I was pleased. I'd done something. I'd confronted a fear. And it's kinda funny that something as normal as swimming at the beach can mean so much to me, but it did. Little things for some can be big for others, even if they are irrationally big.

The rest of the day went smoothly. I sat around and talked a little. And I had fun.

Tim had his 21st tonight. I went and picked up Jem and Chris and I told them of my endeavors at the beach. They, both having been beaching with me before, seemed to understand the significance of the occasion. We picked up Kaia then headed off to St Ives.

At the party, I swam again. And again, I had no problems, no worries. All good. We played a game where we threw a ball from one end of the pool to the other and the guys and the girls had to try and score goals or something. It was good. In a little way I felt like a new person. At least a little bit of my person was new and a little free-er.