I overcame a long-held fear of going into the deep end of a pool last week. This fear dates back to my high school days where I almost failed the required swimming class due to being unable to float or swim in the deep end of the pool. I am not sure how or why it happened, but I passed the class without venturing into deep water.
Last week, due to exacerbated knee pain, I knew it was no longer possible for me to continue walking outside everyday for sixty minutes as part of a 70 Day Fitness Challenge.
I decided to join this challenge after noticing two friends on Facebook, who I had not been in contact with for more than 20 years, that were participating. As a participant in this challenge: daily, I share on Facebook my Fitbit results:
- steps, number walked;
- exercises, other than walking;
- calories burned;
- calories eaten;
- water. number of ounces; and
- sleep, number of hours.
Twelve days into the program, having met my goal of 8,000 steps a day, I didn’t want to let go of my greatest motivator — number of steps walked. These steps were continuously recorded on my Fitbit watch; and, I had developed an addiction to looking at my wrist, throughout the day, to track them.
I entered the challenge to strengthen my lower extremities and improve my balance. If painful knees would prohibit me from accomplishing this, I considered dropping out..
When a fellow challenger heard that I might drop out, she messaged instructions on converting the calories burned in my water aerobic exercises to steps. I saw a problem with this, when she added, “to gain the best results and, at the same time, protect your knees you should exercise in the deep end of the pool.”
A strong desire to continue meeting my goal of 8,000 steps as well as encouragement from fellow challengers, I overcame the fear of going into the deep end of the pool.
And, this is what I posted to Facebook on Day 13 of the Challenge:
“Began the day with my early morning meditation followed by a 20 minute mindfulness walk through the neighborhood. Of course, I paused to rest and take a couple of photos.
In the afternoon, I stepped outside of my comfort zone, donned a waist floater, and ventured to the deep end of the pool for water aerobics. To allay the fear of my feet not landing on a solid surface, I went to ITunes music and selected one of my favorite R&B albums. For 56 minutes and 17 songs, I shimmied, swayed, jumped, floated, walked, and jogged to the soulful music of Mr. Marvin Gaye. I was in throwback mode enjoying the memories of times spent dancing without effort, to R&B music. Today, in deep water, I moved effortlessly for an entire 56 minutes, pain-free.”
I write this post to express my:
- thankfulness to the two friends who inspired and encouraged me to participate and, later, stick with this challenge;
- gratefulness for overcoming the fear of entering the deep end of the pool.
Who knows, maybe I will take swimming lessons next.