My wonderful friend Robin told me about a couple she knows that’s going to Hawaii for their honeymoon. Neither one of them can swim. I thought Kavitha and Param would be the perfect participants for Project: Face in Water. I really love the way the project has evolved, with my focus on helping others foster a healthy, respectful relationship with the water. I’m not caught up in my participants having to swim in one hour; I just want them to feel better in and around the water. So far, it seems like my participants have
walked swum away from our meeting with less anxiety and more confidence. That’s my intention. I thought I could at least help the newlyweds enjoy their tropical island experience a little bit more.
Kavitha and I arranged to meet at Wave House Athletic Club for her lesson. She was incredible to work with because she was very focused and very intense in the water. I could tell that when she was determined to do something, she would stop at nothing to make it happen. Kavitha entered the water with such confidence that I began to doubt why she was in the project. It seemed as if she was going to bounce off the bottom and start swimming laps. Until we got to about chest deep water, at which point I could see her tense up. She held on to the wall as she slowly submerged and blew bubbles. Each time, she would come out of the water and wipe her eyes, nose and mouth- the usual response for someone that isn’t comfortable with water on her face. Check out the video of Kavitha trying to do two submersions without wiping her face…and SUCCEEDING!
I noticed that she looked frustrated whenever she came up from putting her face in the water.
“I don’t like it,” she said. (I love that she has no problem saying exactly how she feels.)
“What don’t you like?” I asked.
“Water in my eyes.”
“Oh, have you tried goggles?” I reached for a pair and helped her put them on.
There’s no need to feel uncomfortable in the water, especially as an adult learner. Kavitha was like a super hero! As soon as the goggles went on, so did a huge smile and a complete change in posture and confidence.
She expressed her feelings of discomfort when venturing past waist-deep water. So, I stuck fins on her. There was no stopping this woman- once she experienced the incredible felling of moving through the water, she was hooked. Her intensity remained, but it was all about getting to the next level. She would totally get into the zone, put her face in the water, kick a few yards to the wall, then stand up and say, “That wasn’t very far.” My response- “It’s further than you have ever swum in your entire life.”
She practiced over and over, getting more and more comfortable. I was so proud of her for conquering her lifelong fear and overcoming any self-doubt. And I once again appreciated her complete honestly when she told me, “I really didn’t expect to get that much out of this.” Ha! I love proving people wrong 🙂 She was really nervous before the lesson and by the end she said that she felt RELAXED. Kavitha said she enjoyed the lesson and does not feel claustrophobic with her face in the water anymore. Then she added, “I am overjoyed that I can kick and go a short distance!” Yay, Kavitha! Way to look at each step as an accomplishment. You should be VERY proud of yourself. I can’t wait to work with your new husband and hear about Hawaii.