Jamie Cashin (jamie@HAGAR.UDC.NEWEAST.CA)
Wed, 21 Sep 1994 16:12:03 -0230
I'm a non swimmer--sort of--so I feel qualified to make some
observations from a non swimmers POV.
A few years back.. 4 to be exact I was sitting on the edge of a river
watching my friends swim. Being a non-swimmer I was content to wade
and play with the water. I slipped and fell in and was swept
downstream.. and under the water. It was a 13 year old boy that
rescued me, despite the fact that there were plenty of adults present.
(He used to be a scout, BTW) Most of the adults present though I was
"joking" when I yelled for help.. and went under. Joking about death
is not part of my character.
Anyway, the boy pulled me out of the water essentially saving my life.
He made me promise two things.. I would never tell any of his friends
what he had done, and that I would take swimming lessons. I've kept
the second promise... I wouldn't make the first.
Four years later I still can't swim in water over my head.. I can swim
from one end of the pool to the other and back several times without
touching the bottom, sides or anything in the pool so I am capable
of locomotion in water. But turn off the lights, make me close my
eyes, push me into water, or tell me I am over my head and I sink.
It's purely psychological, and I know it.
Those people on the list who say "anyone can swim" have never
experienced a true fear of water... they've overcome it and don't
understand it. Too many people trivialize fears.. they are very
real and can be debilitating.
I would love to be able to swim "like a fish". I can't for
psychological reasons. I probably should try to get over whatever
fear is blocking my progress in swimming, but alas, I don't have the
$70 an hour for a shrink to help me get over it. I have to get over
it myself. So this challenge has taken back burner to more pressing
psychological concerns.. like making ends meet in these financial
times, coping with job stress, and lifes other challenges.
This is not a flame.. this is just my personal opinion. I feel you
shouldn't say "anyone can do it" just because you can. I agree
that I probably can do it.. but I've "done my best" and in this and
other cases, a persons best may not be enough. I will continue to
try harder.. but I may never be over this fear. If someone knows a
way for me to beat this fear, great! Let's here it. But it's not
simply a matter of "try harder."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City