Fear of Swimming

Thien-Kim in swim cap and goggles

Deep down, I’m still terrified of swimming and water deeper than I am tall.

Last year you all cheered me on when I took swimming lessons. I didn’t tell you the whole truth. I only went to 4 of  my 6 classes.

During that 4th class I felt off. My body wouldn’t do what my brain wanted it to do. I couldn’t get outside of my head and trust my body. Instead I did a lot of flailing and sinking. The smooth rhythm I’d achieved in previous classes disappeared. All this made my confidence falter, which in turn made increased my mistakes.

The first three classes were challenging but I always made progress. For once swimming was thrilling instead of terrifying! I was more comfortable in the water than I realized. Of course I had my crutches: my instructor and the shallow end. My instructor was good. He knew how to push each person enough. He encouraged us to stretch our comfort zone.

I skipped my fifth class and the polar vortex hit so our final class was cancelled. I basically quit the class.

I hate the mixture of regret and relief when I quit on something.

Still, I have to remind myself that I quit the class out of fear and overconfidence. I haven’t quit swimming yet. I plan on returning to the pool and learning how to swim in the deep end. I will conquer the deep end! Anyone want to join me?

Except this time, I’m won’t take the class during winter. I’m not taking any chances with the polar vortex.

Barracuda Banner FL2W Book Club

This post was inspired by Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, a novel where former Olympic hopeful Dan destroys his swimming career and his attempt at redemption after prison. Join From Left to Write on September 30th as we discuss Barracuda. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. Alicia S September 30, 2014 Reply
    • ThienKimL October 1, 2014 Reply
  2. Heidi Sloss October 1, 2014 Reply
    • ThienKimL October 1, 2014 Reply

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