It has been a while since I wrote about anything. But now, I have got a reason to record what is going on. So I might try and post weekly about it so that I can see how I am progressing.
I have always be afraid of water. No clue as to why. It might have something to do with my parents trying to dunk my head in the river Ganges when we were on our once in a lifetime trip, or it might have been my friends who tried to drown me in the sea in Bali. Whenever we visit a water park I opt for the looking-after-the-bags duty which will keep me away from the water and the waves. I don’t like water entering my ears. Not one bit. Now I live in a sea side city with beautiful beaches. I love to go and get my feet wet in the sea but that is all I am willing to do. I have had “learn to swim” as my New Year Goal for so many years that I ultimately stopped adding it to my list.
So I decided recently that I will try and get this fear out of my way. It has been going on for way too long. I got myself enrolled in a “adult swimming confidence” lessons, which runs for half an hour every week. I did my first week. Well, at least I am still alive and am here to tell you all about it. So that is a start.
I knew I was afraid of water and I wouldn’t get in the pool, but I didn’t expect that I would be petrified. My instructor asked me to get into the pool first, and I wouldn’t. I was getting terrified more by the minute and was on the verge of getting up and walking away. It didn’t matter that the pool was so shallow that the water was only up to my hip. It took her a lot of effort to convince me that she wouldn’t let me drown and she will be there to hold my hand for me to relax. My first activity was to lie on my back and enjoy the water. Again, I wasn’t gonna let my ears get wet. As a result I wasn’t relaxing and I was panicking to get my leg back into the water. All the while I was holding on to the noodle and there was no chance of going under water. But how would a scared mind know that. After 4 attempts she realised that I wasn’t gonna do it well on my first attempt so she asked me to try and lie of my front and try and kick the water. I tried. I really really tried. I promise. My legs wouldn’t go up. It was happy inside the water touching the ground. But at least I wasn’t panicking about getting my ears wet.
After half an hour of this drama, my legs still wouldn’t stop shaking in-spite of it being inside the water and now that I have stopped doing any manoeuvre. She praised me for trying so hard and that I had got into the water in-spite of my fear and survived 30 mins in it. That is a big plus according to her. I thanked her and was happy that I am getting out of that place.
When I came back home (thanks to Mr M for picking me up after I didn’t want to wait another 20 mins for the next bus) I just wanted to give up and bawl my eyes out. I was so close to losing my shit. I hate that I am so afraid, but also glad a bit that I am doing something about it. If you don’t get any more updates about my swim drama, you know that I have drowned in the shallow pool of water.
This week’s prompt from Sylvain is Pride.
This photograph was taken from the top of the Tower of Seville’s Cathedral. Why am I am proud of this photograph? It is because this is the first tower I climbed during my trip to Spain, (and its 35 floors above) without any support (i.e. nothing to hold on to) and without any help (i.e. without taking the help of my friends to carry my camera bag, which can be quite heavy with all my lenses and stuff). I am afraid of heights and I had a broken ankle the previous year and Spain trip was the first trip after my ankle got better. But still the fear of falling down again or slipping up was very much there. And while climbing this tower (which doesn’t have stairs), I almost stopped at level 24 and was sweating so badly because of fear of falling. But failing after halfway through wasn’t something I was ready to live with and so I slowed down and went ahead and finally when I reached the overcrowded tower, I was so overwhelmed with peace and contentment. And I was proud of myself because I didn’t left myself fail that day.
The second stop of the trip was to Kolad. The sole purpose of visiting this place was to do the River Rafting on Kundalika River, which has rapids of grade 3 at this time and during the peak monsoon, you can get rapids of grade 4 and 5 too, according to the guide. But the best is in Rishikesh, according to the guide, if you are too adventurous. My first river rafting experience, and for someone who doesn’t know swimming, it was a great experience. We were just three of us to paddle and we got a short and quick session on the commands and how to paddle in case of rapids and stuff like that. It was very cool and surprisingly I didn’t have any pain later after all that paddling. The first time the guide stopped us between rapids in a place, he told, ‘madam abhi paani mein jayegi’ (Madam will go into the water). For that madam, that is me, replied ‘madam kahin nahi jayegi’ (Madam will not go anywhere). He laughed and said that if I felt afraid to do it here there is yet another place where the water is much more still and calm. I said how much ever he wishes that we all get into the water, I won’t. But then the other two went into the water and was calling me to try it at least once. After a lot of thought, I decided that ‘what the hell, let me just get this another experience over with’ and was trying to get into the water very gracefully, when suddenly I found myself in it. That guide seeing how much I was trying to avoid it sort of gave a slight push. But I know that without that I wouldn’t have done it. I would have crawled back again to my place and sat tight. I am grateful to him for that. And it took a very long time for me to relax. I didn’t let go of the rope he gave me which was tied to the boat and a lot of assurances from him that he will be there to save me in case of any eventualities (in spite of him being just half my size). And I was in the water for almost 20-30 mins, most of it with me lying flat in the water and straining my neck to keep my head from not getting pushed into the water. But after all that drama, I did it and it felt really really good, even if I may not do it again if you ask me now. Realized how damn afraid I am of getting into the water and how it felt good to let go of that fear for sometime. Yay!!!
Damn! I was proud of myself that day.
Where Khaas Plateau was for colors and flowers, this place was for a little adventure.
Starting up early
Mist still covering the roads
When cleared, got the mountain ranges in view
Crossed the Kundalika River
Start of the River Rafting
Other groups joining in
View from our raft
“Will I be able to do it without their help or intervention or will I have to trouble them again to help me do it ” ; these were the thoughts that came to my mind when I went on the small trip above the Monteserrat towards San Juan view point near Barcelona. It was a slightly steep climb and there was more to see. But I
was am afraid of heights and getting so far the point was in itself a huge deal with my leg. So I asked my friends to go ahead and check out the rest of it and come back and in the mean time I can take a break. But after catching my breath, I started panicking! I wasn’t sure if I can climb down that steep path without holding something to make me feel safe ( all that falling and breaking really did a number on me) and I was so afraid that another fall is not gonna be pretty and I really really need to break the jinx that I get injured during every trip I take (just a few days left for the trip to be over). So after panicking and trying to calm down myself, I started to walk down slowly to the next point from where the path was relatively flat , at least not that steep to make me break into sweat. It took me 10 minutes to come down, whereas for the rest it was a just a minute down the path running. Let me tell you , climbing up even with the fear of heights and breaking your body parts, is easy. Getting down , when you can actually see the height and really get hurt by a slip, is the most difficult part. But then when I did it I was so thrilled and happy. Sometimes a little faith in ourselves and a little push to the inner self is all it takes.
This post was written in response to Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.
This week your Prompt will be “with/without.” Choose one to write about or include both. Write about any subject you wish, as always.