This is a story about taking chances in life. When I was a kid, I loved to “swim” on vacations, spending the entire day playing and cooling off in the pool while my mom sunbathed and my dad tried to teach me to swim by throwing me in, that old “sink or swim” method. I never took any swimming lessons so I always just played in the water, splashing around. It didn’t matter that I was a chubby little kid, there were fewer body image issues at that time.
Fast forward to an adult, and I still loved to get in the pool on vacation, this time with my son and husband, especially the water parks in the aging vacation towns like Wisconsin Dells or Jekyl Island in Georgia. When there is nothing to do in a hot, boring town, visit a water park for a day of water, splashing, sliding down huge slides into lazy rivers while getting stung by a bee on my back and getting sun burned to a crisp. I am now finding that you can get little pre-cancerous spots that have to be zapped even if you use a sun screen. Probably didn’t re-apply often enough.
Now I am a senior citizen, an overweight woman with a lumpy and bumpy body, none too attractive in my cute hot pink and black swimsuit. Who cares? Nobody else has the body of a 20 year old here in Sun City, a senior citizen community of 26,000 homes. So I started swimming, real actual swimming about three years ago before we lived here, when visiting my mom. I swam a few days a week for about a month, then stopped. Started again for a couple of months the next year, then stopped once more.
Last year I was really mired in the depths of depression after losing both of our dogs within two months and still adjusting to my ugly body with scars following a body lift after finally losing 100 pounds over the last 20 years with lots of ups and downs thrown in. This was a repeat of the same 100 pounds I had lost too quickly after the birth of my youngest son. My funk was so bad that I stopped writing in my blogs and it affected my overall enjoyment of life. I didn’t swim one day in 2016.
We bought a home about six weeks ago in Sun City, AZ, the best decision of our lives. We’ve owned far fancier, bigger houses, but none that I love as much as this one. Could be my state of mind and the new changes I am making in my life. I started dipping my toe in the water again, swimming two miles a week for the last five weeks, a total of ten miles so far. I decided to push myself and asked if I could join the swimming team, The Masters Swimming Team, made up of seniors all over the United States. Much to my surprise, I am joining them next week.
I have never ever been athletic. A ski instructor once asked if I had ever ridden a bike because my balance was so horrible. That ended skiing for me after a fall and doing very painful splits that resulted in weeks of chiropractic visits. I just have always avoided sports due to body image issues, always being overweight. This huge step for me is a monumental milestone in my life! I am so proud of myself, totally scared that I won’t be good enough with no lessons ever, just self taught.
Swimming makes me happy and strong, I can already see a tiny bit of definition in my chubby arms and legs. If I need lessons, I’ll take them. No comments from others are going to stop me this time.
What are the challenges you have faced in life? Share your comments so others can grow and take on new and exciting challenges.