It started off with trying not to drown. I really wanted to learn how to swim but my buoyancy is equal to a sack of gravel, at least it feels that way. A year ago I took three swim lessons at the local YMCA. After three lessons I succeeded in getting myself from one end of a regulation pool to another without sinking. Success. As the year has progressed I have faithfully continue to practice going as many as 20 laps, which feels like a lot to me. I have grown in strength and endurance and patience with myself without throwing in the proverbial towel.

This fall I took 8 swim lessons from another teacher. I learned so much about stroke, hand depth and placement, head position, hip rotation, aerodynamics in the water and lengthening my stride in the water. I had no idea how much I didn’t know about swimming until my teacher told me. So, I am now buoyant and a fair bit more graceful and efficient in the water.

We never know how little we know about a topic until we delve in. Engaging the large ideas first, opening ourselves up to medium size curiosities next and finally digging deep into the nuances of the subject. Learning is a process. We may not be naturally buoyant in certain area of life but that is a learned behavior. The old adage is ‘sink or swim’ and in so many situations life offers us the challenge is just that – sink or swim.

I choose to swim. Each day offers me an opportunities to sink. Mental illness, depression, anxiety, overwhelm all threaten to pull me down. My float-ability is challenged by feelings of inadequacy, uselessness and irrelevancy. But I choose to swim. To keep moving intentionally toward a goal of becoming stronger. I choose to keep learning new skills that propel me towards becoming the woman I am meant to be. I choose to swim.