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Swimming Through Life

How about this? Having a love so deep for the ocean and at the same time being scared of water?

When I was 5, I had a near-drowning experience. My overambitious soul made me climb up a water slide without any life jacket and jump into a pool which was almost 6 feet deep. Yeah! I didn’t know to swim either. I almost died. They almost lost me is what my mom keeps saying now and then.

The fear of drowning was always there at the back of my mind. Not that I really remember that incident. I got that fear by default. And hence, that is why I never really learnt to swim.

I sit by the ocean, soaking my feet in wet sand and let them feel the waves that come and go. That is the max. I do. No matter how much I love the sea, I could never get myself closer to it. The fear was always there. The fear of being washed away by the waves, taken away from anything I could hold onto. The fear of not being able to feel the bottom of not being able to reach the surface and feel the wind again. The fear of not being able to breathe. Of losing the sight of the shore forever. Fear was always there. It was fear that kept me starving for the ocean and at the same time distancing myself from it. Until something worse happened.

A month ago, an incident turned my whole life upside down. You dream of your worst nightmare and tadaaa… here it is, as your reality! I don’t wanna talk about that incident but all I can tell you is that it was hard. Life was horrible after that. Every day was hard. I felt helpless. Hopeless. I wanted something, something that could distract my mind away from all the torture Life had in place for me.

That’s when I decided, okay, instead of cribbing and wasting time, let me just go out there into the pool and try to learn how to swim. The very next day I joined swimming classes. My first day was an amazing start. I wasn’t scared of water anymore. The worst was over. My greatest fear had come alive. It had happened. It was over. All the other fears hardly mattered. The fear of water, well… didn’t matter at all anymore.

When you are not afraid, you tend to be your best. Get the best of everything. I wasn’t afraid to try out new things in water. Therefore I learnt everything fast. I wasn’t afraid to push myself off that wall… I wasn’t afraid to sink every time my hands left the wall. I wasn’t afraid anymore to swallow water (please avoid your max to do it). The pain in my nose, my ears and my head felt when I accidentally breathed in water were the least of the things to scare me off. I learnt to dive too. Yeah, I could neither feel the bottom of the pool nor the surface of water, no wind on my face, no ventilation through my lungs… all my fears, hahaha. But this time, I didn’t care. To hold my breath for long was a challenge, a struggle and every time I did it well, it brought a smile on my face, made me happy.

Swimming wasn’t just a temporary hobby for me. Swimming became the reason for my happiness. I used to get into the pool and swim away all my frustrations. I was really frustrated those days and I tried everything I could to turn all that negative energy into something amazing. I put all that energy into swimming. Maybe people swim for fun, for refreshment. For me, it was altogether different. I swam ‘coz I wanted to free my mind off self-torture. Swimming for me was a therapy, it was a cure for my inner suffering. Every day I pushed myself off my limits, swam a little harder, a little faster. Everyday was a new day to be a better person. Swimming not just made me happy, it gave me reasons to be proud of. My small little accomplishments in the pool were not small for me at all. They all mattered. They still matter.

I believe, the next time I go to beach, I won’t just stand there and stare at the sea. I wanna swim deep, swim longer… I wanna dive down to the depths of the ocean. I wanna love the ocean to the extent it deserves to be loved. I wanna let the ocean love all of me.

For all those who are afraid to swim, trust me… throw your fear away and just go for it. It’s definitely not gonna be easy, but… you’ll never ever regret it. You are gonna love it as much as I did.

As Dory sings:

” When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do?

JUST KEEP SWIMMING.

JUST KEEP SWIMMING.

JUST KEEP SWIMMING, SWIMMING,SWIMMING.”
Enjoy the pun. Hahaha…

-Shobitha Bushan


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Shobitha Bushan

Bangalorean! A medico , writer, day dreamer! Passionate about art and music. Nature lover... Loves to pet animals and plants! (Also... some people... LOL)

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