...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A scared cat no more

It's time to bring this picture back out.

Remember Joy the Cat? Fifteen weeks ago, I couldn't swim to literally save my own life. I panicked as soon as I had to tiptoe in a pool or swallowed pool water by mistake, and I wrongly thought that I had to thrash my arms wildly just to keep afloat. Since then I:

1. learned breast stroke and back stroke
2. learned to tread water – for whole minutes!
3. felt how it was to hop into a pool feet-first
4. could retrieve stuff from the bottom of the pool (shallow end)
5. learned (in principle) how to do a flip turn at the end of the pool
6. learned to swim with clothes on – good to know in case I fall in
7. And most importantly, I lost my fear of water!

Did you read that? I'm not afraid of water anymore! It just happened suddenly in one of our swimming sessions. One week, I didn't dare to swim into the deep end; by the next week I was doing two laps! It's crazy.

(This is the 25m pool where I overcame my fear, photo from their site)

An unexpectedly negative thing about swimming is that some of my nails have become brittle at the ends. I don't know if it had something to do with swimming with nail polish, but I consulted a manicurist about it and she says it just happens sometimes when nails get into a lot of contact with water, and you later go out into the cold. The nails get dry and brittle and start to look like they're peeling layers – which is exactly what happened to some of my nails' tips. As a "cure", she sold me some jelly-like nail strengthener that don't make the nails hard. I also have to oil my nails and cuticles several times a day to keep them from drying out.

I hope they heal until next semester's new round of swimming lessons. I'm already geared to re-enroll and learn new things, and I've even met new friends there who are also re-enrolling next year. Maybe I can even take the 200-meter breast-and-backstroke test eventually. Freestyle swimming though, is an even further goal that instructors say we can learn first after a year and a half of swimming (at least), when we can show that we're as comfortable in water as in land.


Blogger yogon said...

*clap* *clap*

1:16 PM

Blogger The Pope said...

Congratulations for conquering your fear.

A blessed weekend.

7:48 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Thanks guys! :-)

10:01 PM

Blogger Leplume said...

Congratulations! But I have to admit, sitting here reading this in our freezing winter temperatures does not make me envy you getting in that pool!

4:52 AM

Blogger sapphire said...

Congrats!!! That is awesomeness. Definitely keep up with it, you will be happy.

Your nails could be turning brittle because of the chlorine too.

10:29 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

@ Leplume: They keep the pool warm at 25-something Celcius, I think, which is a bit cold at first until you get used to it. Plus, I always use the sauna before going out into the cold again. I wouldn't be able to stand the cold otherwise! One thing that's NOT recommended is warming yourself up in the jacuzzi before swimming (which I thought then was "smart"). Doesn't work. The pool water just feels biting cold in comparison!

@ Sapphire: Yeah, they must use a lot of chlorine and stuff for those pools... I have to wait some 3 months for my bad nail tips to grow out. Not good!

10:13 AM


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