Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The fear monster

Today I got my first "fright" in the water since I started feeling comfortable in the water, it was not a "boo" type of a fright, but a realisation type fright, where you have scenarios running through you head along the lines of " what if ...what if"

Heres what happened. I tried to swim with Kerians Neckweight ( 2kg) and Wendys weight belt (1.2kg) as I took off it felt good, but when the momentum of the first push off dissipated I felt a weird sinking feeling. The pool we are using at the moment is 1.6m deep, but 2/3rds of the way along, it drops to 3m. What went through my head was " if I run out of air, and I am too close to the bottom, and I cant get up, im in trouble". The reality is that I am not going to run out of air on one length of the pool, if I am at the bottom I will stop and try to head for the surface and if that happens, who ever is in the water is going to grab me. This is the problem with fears, they can be irrational. I have spent the last 3 months trying to rationalise my fear and put it in its place, I had all the answers to my fear, I visualsed being in the water and kept telling myself, "I cant sink when I am wearing a wetsuit, there are no sharks in the blue hole, theres nothing that can hurt me" etc etc, and when I did get little fears come up I dealt with them rationally. Today when I said " I didn't like it" I was thinking " I'm shit scared. I didn't have the answer to what the rationalisation was for this fear. I got rid of the neck weight and tried again, Kerian made me do another 5 x 25m swims after the first 2 "failed attempts" - he kept pushing me, and by the first couple I started to regain that comfort again. I am sitting here now thinking about how I felt and know i just have to keep trying. This whole water thing is starting to become my challenge, after feeling beaten over many things that have happened over the past few years, this is one thing i feel i can have total control over, and determine my own destiny with.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fear Factor

Ok - so its starting to feel a bit false saying to people - "I had a fear of water" when Kerian talks about his freediving and they ask me if i do it, or if I have the bug. The truth is, I am getting the bug - and its heaps of fun.

Yeah I do still have a bit of a fear of the water, but I am sure to have an exit plan - ie i didnt dive from the shallow to the deep end, incase i needed to stand up quickly.

I am starting to feel ok floating in the pool without a wetsuit - getting used to the different type of buoyancy has been a bit to adjust to.

I can now swim 25m easily in the pool without starting to freak out - I manage it by saying in my head " arm up, and down, stay calm...arm up and down stay calm...and every 4th stroke i say stay calm and breath......" - that works well

So where to from here???
Well this week I have notched up an easy 25m freestyle, a semi stressed 50m freestyle, a 33m DYN and an 11m DNF - im just going to improve on those and see how much further I can go, how much fitter i can get, how much weight i can loose, and what type of progression i can make. I am tracking it for Kerian , so it cant be too hard to do it for me too!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


This week I learnt something - but i didn't really just learn it I sorta just realised it - my lightbulb went on!

A good friend of mine uses this saying all the time " friends for reasons, and friends for seasons".

I have finally learnt what it really meant.

There has been only one person who I have decided not to continue being friends with - that was hard as that person supported me through some tough times, and I her - but this friend was clearly a friend for a season.

There are friends that just seem to arrive in your life deliver exactly what you need and for no real reason they drift away, those are the 'friends for reasons'.

But there is one type of friend that the saying doesn't cover - thats the "all purpose, all seasons," friend - and I learnt this week that I have one of those, in fact I actually have 2 of them.

On Tuesday, I went to a funeral, I sat in a room of people I didn't know, who had come to farewell someone I knew, but didn't know that well at all - in fact I hadn't seen or communicated with this person for well over 15 years. But then my all purpose friend walked in, her heart broken, her face showing the sadness of loosing her mum. She was strong and brave as she delivered her eulogy with tears pouring down her face, she battled on as she normally does. Then it was time for those final goodbyes - she, along with her family carried the casket out to bagpipes, waiata and a Haka - truly beautiful and very very emotional.

After a few moments I made my way through the crowd - she was talking to someone so I hung back - beside me was her husband - who looked down at me ( hes a tall fella) and gave me one of those farmer type hello nods, then, she looked up, we locked eyes and then she realised....it was me looking back at her.

For the past 3/4 of an hour I had been feeling her pain, her heartache and sorrow, now despite not having seen each other for 8 years, and last talking to each other 3 years ago, we were both witnessing each others elation, it was extremely overwhelming, all I could say to her as we hugged was " I am so sorry" and all she could say was " oh my god" we didn't talk much - it wasn't appropriate but we didn't need to either, we have always had a relationship where we 'just knew' what was going on, we knew when answering the phone that each other was the one calling, we knew when each other was in trouble - even when we lived in different towns, and we always knew just what to do to help each other out. We were matrons of honnors, we shared the fears of new motherhood and marriage. I hardly remember how people at work take their coffee or tea - but I could make her one just perfect after all this time.

The last 6 months I haven't been able to stop thinking about her - feeling a need there that I couldn't explain, thinking I was going crazy 'feeling' that she needed me, when we hadn't talked in so long and for all I knew she had plenty of support and no need for me in her life anymore- but all of that, the loosing contact ( I lost her details and then moved) and despair we both had looking for each other- helped make our reunion so much stronger, and helped us realise that our 24 year friendship, was still as strong as it was when we were best friends at intermediate.

Today - I feel whole again, because a big piece of my life has been missing, for such a long time. I also realise that my other all seasons heavy duty friend, the one that keeps using the saying "friends for reasons and friends for seasons" is that same type of friend - friends we have to hold close and cherish.