Last Updated on by

We all make New Year’s resolutions.

We also set goals, fix our sights, tell ourselves that we WILL do it, come what may and somehow, it all fizzles out by the end of the first week. We get lazy or just don’t have the motivation to continue with it, let alone keep ourselves focussed on the end result.

I am no different. Yes, I know I motivate my students to work hard and tell them that slow yet steady yields good results. But that’s because I was that way- as far as studies were concerned. So I could talk with some amount of conviction on that issue. But give me physical exercise or strenuous activity and I would balk at it, or worse, come up with a whiny excuse about never having done it before.

So, it came to be that in the April of 2010, it was my birthday and I was no closer to being fitter than I had been 15 years ago. Add the pregnancy weight to the equation and you have a ballooning figure who liked sweets and to whom the word ‘diet’ was anathema!

Then, out of the blue, came a guardian angel, in the shape of a very close friend, whom I will call ‘S’. She was my inspiration, my motivation and my fitness coach all rolled into one. Why do I say this? It’s because she pushed me to join a swimming camp – a ten-day course spread over 5 weekends. She had great convincing power and her arguments were hard to ignore. She listed them as:

  1. It’s going to be conducted right here in the apartment.
  2. It’s going to be a lady coach.
  3. It’s going to be an all-ladies session.
  4. I’m going to join too, so you’ll have company.
Well, what choice did I have? All I needed now was a swimsuit/ a cap and a pair of googles and we were all set.
Having purchased the necessary equipment, it was off to the pool for the first session. I won’t lie. It was actually a bit scary! I lost my footing once and although the pool was only five feet deep in the deep end, I was underwater for a good ten seconds, having my life flash before my eyes and thinking, ‘This is how I’m going to die!” 
Day 1 was spent mostly learning how to float and blow bubbles underwater and by the end of the hour, I was miserable. I could do neither! I was sure that I was going to spend the next 5 weeks drowning in the pool or sitting in the shallow end.
Day 2 was a bit better. I still couldn’t float, but the instructor was very patient and even helped us kick our way across the width of the pool, while she held our hands.

In the weeks that followed, ‘S’ was my companion to the hilt. She accompanied me daily as we practised and practised our way across the pool. We helped each other float/ kick/ breathe in the pool. If it wasn’t for her, I would have given up after Day 2!
Within a week, we were more confident, we could float and kick across the pool! It was a pleasant surprise.
Suffice to say that in the next 5 weeks, we managed to learn how to float, to do the freestyle, float on our backs, do the backstroke, do a sitting dive, do the dolphin move and also how to come up for breath between strokes. Who ever thought this was all possible?
Now, a few years ater, I am glad to announce that I am a happy swimmer. I try not to miss swimming at least twice a week and go to the pool, come rain, shine or winter.
So, this post is dedicated to ‘S’, without whom I would still be dipping my feet in the shallow end of the baby pool. Thank you and I am glad we did this together!
{This is in response to the prompt: What accomplishment are you most proud of?}
It’s Day 27

This post is my contribution to

   NaBloPoMo November 2013
Categories: Yeah Write

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


cynk · November 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Well done! Glad to hear you have a friend that gave you the push you needed.

Shailaja V · November 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Thank you! Yes, I would never have learnt were it not for her. And the really crazy part? I have taught 4 people to swim since then!

Vidya Lohith · November 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I still got to wait for 2015. 😉 K is for sure learning it this summers

Naga Vydyanathan · November 28, 2013 at 3:46 am

Thanks. This has been on my agenda for a while now and still is. Wish I find my 'S' soon:)

Shailaja V · November 28, 2013 at 5:13 am

Start now! Learn before K does. She will learn faster that way, trust me!

Shailaja V · November 28, 2013 at 5:15 am

Naga, It takes exactly a week to learn, if you do it daily 🙂 Will be happy to teach you if you get the time:)

Obsessivemom · November 28, 2013 at 11:49 am

Wow.. I'm inspired. It's one of my dreams to learn swimming. The pool is right here in our apartment society and we get a trainer too.. A lady. But I'm SCARED! Need to gather the courage one day.

Aparna · November 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Nice to hear the story of how you learnt, I remember you mentioning that it was not too long ago. I did go for classes a few years back, but my ingrained fear of water holds me back from learning well :(.

Shailaja V · November 29, 2013 at 5:49 pm

OM, find a friend who is as much of a novice as you are. It helps tremendously. And, trust me, the fear disappears after the first day!

Shailaja V · November 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Aparna, come on over and I promise to teach you in under a week and dispel your fear of water in a day 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.