In the Deep End

Jumping in with both feet is something I’ve done most of my life, rarely giving a thought to the outcomes or end results. Who knew that doing it, literally could be so daunting. 

I did something scary this week. But let’s get a bit of context first. I spend a fair chunk of my day alone. When I’m writing I need peace and quiet to hit the keys. Even the radio gets binned off. And so the solitude is welcome. I work alone, I do the weekly food shop alone, I run alone, I go to meetings and appointments alone, I iron school uniforms late at night alone, I read the Sunday Times alone, I sleep alone. It’s nothing new. For the most part, I like it.

So, doing something new, alone shouldn’t come as much of a shock to the system. But as I plunged, feet first into the water at my local pool, without my kids splashing about, or my friends telling me to behave and get some lengths done, I felt like I’d made a terrible mistake.

I’ve been feeling self-conscious of late. Probably the insecurity with my work situation and losing a bit of faith in the job application process. I decided to move my ass, instead of sitting around eating myself into a diabetic coma. I’m absolutely loving clocking up a few miles again. each day. I’m unlikely to challenge Shelley-Ann Fraser Pryce any time soon, but the mileage is coming along.

When I walk or run, I listen to this amazing podcast from APM Reports. It’s called In The Dark and you can check it out here. I’m on Season Two now and it rocks. But along with listening to true crime podcasts and reading a lot of crime/thriller novels, comes an uneasy feeling around secluded places. Like, my run route.

To mix things up again and get the thought of being dragged through some bushes to an ugly demise in my own backyard, I decided to squish my aforementioned ass into a swim suit and go to the pool. It seems so alien to be there without the kids. I’ve literally never gone to a swimming pool on my own, set myself a challenge in terms of how many lengths I want to wrack up, and achieved it. It’s so normal, yet so out of my comfort zone. I’m also 100% less likely to be dragged through bushes at the pool. So, win win.

I paid my entry fee. Faffed around with the locker. Damn lockers. And walked out to the shallow end of the pool. My eye sight is absolute pants and without glasses I couldn’t quite read the time on the clock at the far end, 25m away. But sure enough, I pushed off and swam. Minding my own business. Clocking up some exercise. By 25 laps I felt a bit less weird. When it was around 40 minutes later, I decided I was done.

Walking home afterwards I felt like I’d reached a new level of adulting. Look at me, I went for a swim, on my own! I’ve never felt like this about the weekly shopping or when all 15 uniforms are ironed and hanging up on a Sunday night. It felt scary to walk out there on my own, especially in a swimming costume – aint no body got time for that!

I’ve decided I’m all for little victories in 2020. Doing stuff for the first time. Doing the scariest thing or most dreading thing on your to do list, first and revelling in the sense of accomplishment. I hadn’t made a single New Years resolution. But now that I’m a fully fledged adult, who goes swimming alone and everything, I’m going to add a few more ‘scary things’ to my 2020 list and make it the most terrifying year to date.

 

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