I had some time in the car this weekend while my daughter had fallen asleep in her car seat. I had pen and paper at hand and wrote Anne a love letter. Her birthday is today, so it was a good time to reflect on how much I love her.
I think I’ll try to get to 10 this year before calling this goal “done”.
I did this! Again, actually. When I was a kid, I didn’t like getting my face in the water. I took a swimming class when I was 7 or 8 and I hated it. The instructor managed to scare me more than teach me, and I came away from it convinced that swimming wasn’t for me.
When I was in 8th grade, we had a swimming class as part of PE course, but the school was not prepared for dealing with a prepubescent adolescent that not only didn’t know how to swim, but had a real aversion to swimming. So I never swam. Before global warming, it never got that hot in Seattle – so not knowing how to swim never really was a handicap. I still fooled around on boats, kayaks and canoes (and it’s a good thing I never fell in).
When I was 22 or 23, I found myself living in Olympia, WA during a legislative session and decided it was time to learn to swim. I signed up for an evening swim class. It sucked – but I didn’t quit – and when it was over – I could basically dog paddle across the length of the pool. I finished the class and basically never swam again.
10 years later, I just finished another adult swim class. This one was better (though I’m still not a very good swimmer). On the first day the teacher (who I think is about 16 years old) told me to put my face in the water. I said “I can’t”. But I then spent the next 15 minutes doing it, dunking myself, spitting a lot – and then it was over. Next week I swam across the pool doing a crawl (but holding my breath). A few weeks later I learned the breast stroke. I still haven’t really learned how to take a breath, but I have learned to relax and enjoy the experience of being underwater. Goggles helped. And I think I’ve figured out how to not get water up my nose.
Next task, learning to take a breath and not going so long without swimming. Hopefully swimming will become part of my life. I don’t want my kids to avoid swimming the way I have, and it would be a lot of fun if we could all share in the fun.
On the scale of hard things I’ve done in my life (from 1 being eating ice cream and 10 being a root canal on my front tooth) I’d say overcoming my fear of water is about a 7 or 8 – and I still have a ways to go. But it has definitely been worth doing.
From their website: Piazza Farnese, bordering with Via Giulia, is one of the most suggestive corners of Rome. It is situated in the heart of the historical centre of the City, close to the famous Campo de’ Fiori, a few minutes’ walk from Saint Peter’s Basilica, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Janiculum, the Roman Form and the Capitol. The House of Saint Bridget, a splendid XV century building, houses people of all nationalities, creed and age. In the first floor of the House one can visit the three rooms where Saint Bridget lived and died. A big library, a sunroof and especially the welcoming familiar atmosphere render the House an ideal place where to spend a pleasant stay. The services in the rooms include a bath or a shower, telephone and central heating. Board: Full-board, half-board or bed and breakfast. The House is open all the year round and is not equipped for disabled guests.
More info and some other convents they run (that I haven’t seen first hand) are described here.
If anyone wants to accomplish this goal in the NW, it couldn’t be easier. Head to the west side of San Juan Island in Summer and you’ll see the resident Orca Whales putting on an unbelievable show. But if you go by kayak or whale watching boat make sure to keep your distance. Nothing spoils whale spotting like over active whale spotters!