I could sense that there was "something different" about the vibe when we arrived at the Olympic swimming pool this morning - but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. I just knew it was going to be a good day.
We had startled a pair of ducks in the walkway on our way in. One of them made it to the safety of the grassed area outdoors, ducking through a gap in the plastic flap (no pun intended), while the other turned and waddled for a bit, then flew into the air above the indoor pool, eventually landing at the far end of one of the lap lanes. While a group of amused bystanders looked on, a lifeguard swept the adventurous creature out of the water with a pool scoop. Our session was off to a great start.
If you've had the time to read my post on the joys of swimming, you'll be aware that it was only a couple of years ago that I taught myself to swim. Curiously, although I have always loved frolicking in the ocean (and swimming pools), I've been mildly aqua phobic for much of my life. This fear became worse in 1997, when my elderly father (a non-swimmer, like me) almost drowned at sea.
Thanks to Peter's suggestion that I try swimming with a front snorkel, goggles, ear plugs, a nose clip and flippers, I have gradually become desensitised, and can now fully appreciate the deliciousness and fun of it all.
Over the last few weeks, I've been working up the courage to leap into the five-metre depths of the dive pool from the one-metre diving board. Today, with Peter and a lifeguard as witnesses, I overcame my fear and did it - not once, but six or seven times. And guess what? It was [expletive] awesome!
Feeling proud of myself, I announced the achievement on my personal Facebook page. My friend, Darren, who has been following my journey with interest, suggested that tomorrow I should try jumping from the TWO metre platform on the tower. Eeks! I don't think I'm quite ready for that, but I DO want to get back to the pool as often as possible to practise my one-metre springboard jumps.
Perhaps the next time I report on this topic, I can tell you that I have successfully accomplished the basic mechanics and timing of a proper dive, "knifing" into the water, smoothly. Time will tell.
"A Captivating Film About People Working Through the Fear of Jumping from a Ten Meter High Dive"...
Another friend, George, posted the following comment on my Facebook page: "Hi Liz. Well done! For me, the issue is heights. I found this video captivating and thought I'd share it with you. I wish in my heart of hearts I could be like the little girl at around 1:40."
Thank you, George. I watched this remarkable video and I'm with you. I, too, would love to be like the little girl at 1:40. Bless her brave heart.
That said, today I did exactly what she did. I told myself "let's do this", and I jumped. No, it wasn't from ten metres, it was only from one metre. But somehow, I finally overcame my fear, and I did it! *Fist pump*.
What really stands out for me, is that I am alive and well enough to be able to embark on such a challenge. Believe me, I am truly grateful for this, as I know that so many other folks are not as fortunate. Every single day, and every opportunity to do something new, is a gift.
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes, postcards and morsels from my adventures, conversations with cookery writers
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.