Guess what I did last night? For the first time in 18-months?
I went swimming.
And I still can’t quite believe it myself.
I don’t know why or when I decided to I just knew I wanted to go swimming and so I did. I dug out my old costume, hat, goggles, grabbed a towel and off I went. It was mentally challenging though. I’ve genuinely had this fear of going swimming since I retired a year and a half ago.
There’s so many negative memories associated with being in a tiny little bitty swimming costume at the pool with eyes everywhere. Eyes that feel as though they’re focusing on every inch of my body that I’m uncomfortable with. When I retired from elite sport a lot of people did ask would I ever swim again and I would forcefully say no. I thought I couldn’t. The pain there, the hurt associated with so many memories was too much for me to contemplate ever entering the pool again.
It was hard though. I pulled out my swimming costume and shuddered at the thought of putting it on. I was scared about how it would fit, how I would feel, would people look at me? But I did it anyway. I put that fear to one side, I fought back the painful memories that were digging their claws in and I put it on. I walked out to poolside and I jumped in the deep end (pardon the pun).
I. Felt. Amazing.
I was back in that water, the water I fell in love with when I was less than a year old. And I’ll tell you something…I still got it! I still got that feel for the water and the technique that makes gliding through the pool feel like the easiest thing in the world and I damn well loved it.
I am so unbelievably proud of myself. Not being able to go swimming, something that I love, has been such a hurdle in my recovery and the fact I simply woke up one day and decided I wanted to go for a swim says huge things about where I am right now. To be able to put those feelings of dread to one side, all those things I fear to the back of my mind and go for a simple swim. I felt so free in that water, I felt like nothing could weigh me down and that smile I had on my face once I left the pool? That smile was there all night long. (Evidenced by a quick snapchat to all those who know just how major this is, of course).