January 24, 2015
My 35 before 35
Swimming (kind of)
Right before my last birthday, I sat down to reflect on the many things I wanted to accomplish before my 35th birthday. I am totally dating myself but oh well. I made a list of 35 things that I wanted to do, see, travel to, and experience. Of course the list had a lot to do with travel but overall it was a list of experiences that I wanted to try to better myself. I will share some of them with you:
Some of the list had to do with music: # 23 Go to a U2 concert, check – bought tickets for LA May 2015.
Some of the list had to do with travel: #1 Travel to Australia, check – wanted to hit up 6/7 continents before 35. Antarctica may still be in there…
Some of the list had to do with sports: #13 Go to a tennis major, check – heading to the Aussie Open today.
Lastly, some of the list had to do with conquering fears and learning one of life’s major skills: #8 dive in the deep end and not panic and # 22 swim in the ocean.
I did not learn how to swim when I was young and fearless like so many other people. Now I have a love/hate relationship with the water. I love it because I find it calming but I hate being in it because I am afraid of not being able to breath. I took lessons at age 13 from a wonderful teacher and family friend, Nicole, but by they then it was too late. The fear had set in. I had a good session with her but when it came to diving into that deep end at Purvis Park Pool, I panicked. I never tried that again even after working at the pool for so many years. The irony in this all is that my sister is a lifeguard along with many friends and I worked at the pool for over 5 years. Fast forward to 3 years ago when I had a chance to snorkel in Mexico and I did what I always did in the past – I passed because I was afraid. Then 2 years ago my sister and I were in Hawaii and we wanted to snorkel. Luckily, they had life vests, noodles and fins so I was able to get out there. But I definitely had my moments of panic.
After that trip I made it a mission to learn how to swim. Needless to say when you set an intention, the universe responds. I was introduced to an amazing swim teacher, Kim, through a mutual friend who was accomplishing a goal of her own. Getting 40 people to put their face in the water before her 40th birthday through her awesome project faceinwater.com. She believes swimming is a life necessity and saves lives – especially the black kind (its not just a stereotype). I 100% agree with her. So I was #37 or 38 of her project. We had a great time in the pool and I decided to continue lessons with her. We have been meeting for the last 6 months for some swim lessons and she has seen me at my best and worst. Needless to say its all mental and I still have those moments of straight up panic, but her patience is impeccable.
Fast forward to two days ago. My sister and I travelled to the Cairns to experience the Great Barrier Reef – one of the natural wonders of the world that will soon be gone. It was my sister’s idea to make this a day trip while in Australia. Of course I was in.
The only way to experience the reef is to snorkel or dive. I had to snorkel otherwise what was the point of coming out here? The tour we were with had fins and a floater belt. I used both of course because the ocean is a whole different beast than the pool. So I got out there and I swam in the ocean to view the Great Barrier Reef and of course it was amazing! The colors, the fish, the turtles – unbeatable.
I have to admit I had my moments of freaking out. The ocean’s waves are scary but I swam and snorkeled – twice! and live to tell the tale. I still don’t feel great out there but my sister assured me I have improved tremendously since our trip to Hawaii.
I am not sure if I count this as a check for #22 because I want to be out in the ocean with no fins or swim belts but I count it as getting closer.
I am nowhere near #8 of my list or a least I don’t think so, but I am going to get there. Are you with me Kim?
Because this is a sports blog…I have to comment on some real sports out there..
The veteran Roger Federer is out of the Australian Open before I could see him. Smh…He is past his prime but he may still have one major deep down in there…What do you think?
My favorites are still hanging in there: Serena, Venus, and Rafa…
The next big things: I head to the Aussie Open today and Coach K will probably get his 1000th win in NY…
Hope you enjoyed my blog! Thanks for reading and share it if you like it!