Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 Vacation Series #2: I SWAM!!!!

It was a lovely day 2 here at Virginia Beach. After a walk on the boardwalk with my parents where we saw the sights, sat by the water, and chit chatted, I convinced my mother to pop on her new bathing suit and go to the pool with me.

I've always simultaneously loved and feared the water. I can doggy paddle and play in the pool for hours, but swimming? Forget it. I stayed at the shallow end where I knew I wouldn't drown.

But today I decided that I wanted to float. So I enlisted my mother, a very graceful swimmer, to help. She (and the two other hotel guests who were in the pool with us) was very encouraging. Everyone kept saying, "Just relax. Let go. Trust yourself. The water will carry you." If that's not the perfect metaphor for life in general, I don't know what is.

I never did get around to floating on my back, but before we left the pool for the day, I was determined to swim across the shallow (3ft.) end of it without stopping. It's a small pool, so this was a realistic goal. My mom showed me what to do and explained the basics, but the hardest thing in the world was actually pushing off and letting that water take me. Logically I knew I couldn't drown in so little water and with that many people around. But fear is not logical. Fear is stupid and irrational. Usually fear wins for me. But today I was pissed at myself. I was pissed that I couldn't do it. So I decided that maybe I could.

I pushed off and swam not just across, but around to a slightly deeper part of the pool. I could hear my mother yelling, "Keep going!" as I kicked for dear life. When I resurfaced, I didn't know where I was -- my eyes had been closed the whole time. I looked back at where I had come from, and where I was at the moment, and asked, "Did I just swim?" "Yes, you did," came my mother's proud reply.

It was scary. It wasn't graceful. It wasn't pretty. But I did it. And I know I can do it again. After 22 years, I finally have a starting point, a baseline from which I can build little victories and eventually become decent at this. I'm not gonna be the next Michael Phelps or anything, but it was nice to try something new and succeed at it. It's all part of my larger goal: I changing "I can't" to "I can" in every aspect of my life.

We also had a visit from family today. My grandmother's sister, my great-aunt Chris, and her two adult children (my cousins) Jessica and Leon, all live in Chesapake, so they drove to Virginia Beach to visit us at our hotel. Grandma was very happy to see her sister. Notice how alike they look? (Grandma's on the left, Aunt Chris is on the right.)

They're hilarious together. The sisterly banter has only gotten better throughout their lifelong friendship. Grandma will be 88 years young October 1st, and Aunt Chris is just a little bit younger.Aunt Chris makes an amazing pineapple upside down cake that can derail any diet, and I will admit I did have a slice...or two. Planning to burn it off, though.  I hope to have them both in my life for a long, long time.

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